A SCOTTISH Government minister paid a visit to a Peeblesshire service for those living with dementia and their families and carers.

Minister for social care, mental wellbeing and sport, Maree Todd MSP joined local MSP Christine Grahame – who arranged the visit – at Dementia Friendly Tweeddale's (DFT) Memory Café at the Firholm Day Centre, in Peebles.

During the visit members of DFT shared with Ms Todd the importance of local service provision for people with dementia, as well as giving insight to their daily lives with the condition.

Ms Grahame said: “In Scotland some 90,000 people have dementia. It is most common in older people but can affect people in their 40s and 50s, or even younger. In Tweeddale, with a higher demographic of older people, there will be many affected and of course those undiagnosed.

“It will undoubtedly be very frightening on receiving a diagnosis for the individual and any partner and family, but it does not mean that life cannot continue to be fulfilling. That’s where Dementia Friendly Tweeddale comes in.

“Their fortnightly Memory Café, their weekly Recollective Choir and their monthly Tweeddale Tea Dances provide invaluable sources of support for people in the area living with dementia, as well as raising awareness in the community."

She added: “I was pleased that the Minister accepted my invitation to visit the Memory Café and hope that everyone there felt it was a helpful forum to give the Minister an insight into issues affecting their daily lives and discuss some of their concerns.

"The members raised some really important issues, such as maintaining local service provision for people affected by dementia, and the importance of audiology and other services optimising hearing, since hearing loss is now considered to be a significant, modifiable, risk factor for dementia.”

The Memory Café meets fortnightly at the Firholm Day Centre, on Innerleithen Road on Thursdays at 2.30pm.

Dementia Friendly Tweeddale also runs the Recollective Choir at Dovecot Court, in Peebles, every Tuesday at 2.45pm, and also holds Tea Dances every third Friday of the month at St Joseph's Neighbourhood Centre, on Rosetta Road, at 2.30pm.

The next Tea Dance will be Friday, February 16.