Dementia Action Week

Dementia Action Week is a national event that sees the public coming together to take action to improve the lives of people affected by dementia

Research shows there are more than 944,000 people in the UK who have dementia. 1 in 11 people over the age of 65 have dementia in the UK. The number of people with dementia is increasing because people are living longer. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of people with dementia in the UK will be more than 1 million.

Age Exchange is proud of its long 40 year history using reminiscence arts to measurably improve the well-being and quality of life for people living with dementia. Over decades of running dementia programmes like Remembering Yesterday Caring Today, Creative Caring, Hearts and Minds, Reminiscence Arts in Day Care Impact on Quality of Life – thankfully shortened to RADIQL and many other projects and services in London, across the UK and abroad, the charity has supported 1000s of people living with dementia and importantly – their family carers too.

Everything we deliver in dementia support now has its roots in everything we as a charity have learned since we started out – what we deliver today is the result of everything we have learned with our partners – the people with dementia and their carers we work alongside – they have been our teachers.

Age Exchange currently delivers 8 different group reminiscence programmes each week in London and the South East offering a range of activities including reminiscence, arts and crafts, music and movement.


Please visit us during this week to show your support and have a chat with our lovely staff and volunteers if you have any questions about dementia. We will have pamphlets and flyers about our creative groups as well general dementia advice in the cafe.

Featured dementia project: Good Company

Good Company is a major partnership programme with people living with dementia in Brentwood Essex and their carers. “Good Company” seeks to reimagine formal Day Care, inviting people instead to join a creative production process – exploring lived experience/reminiscence through narrative, embodied and sense memory. The programme is a major collaboration between ourselves and national touring symphony orchestra, Orchestras Live with Sinfonia Viva and contemporary dance company Green Candle Dance, as the delivery team – supported by our friends from Brentwood Borough Council and Alzheimer’s UK responsible for co-ordination and managing referrals.

Our involvement in Good Company goes back to our 3 year programme RADIQL for Guys and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust, working to evaluate the role and practice of Reminiscence Arts in supporting people living with mid to late stage dementia in South London care. The most important lesson we learned as a charity was the need to go beyond the formal practice of reminiscence work – reminiscence purely as narrative and to extend our approach into growing our work through sensory approaches and embodies approaches to memory – expanding our work in dance movement and live music making.

A key responsibility of Age Exchange is to use our expertise in reminiscence work to lay the foundations of “Good Company”, exploring week on week reminiscence themes through reminiscence artefacts, sensory material, archive sound, and archive photos and film - to find out who is in the room and ensure everything that develops through reminiscence, music and dance is entirely made with and by the people who were referred as individuals, but through taking part become the heart of “Good Company”. Members also bring to the sessions family photos from across the generations of their own families, and memorabilia which they use to share their story, inspired by the reminiscence themes we explore each week developed through learning about the company members and their lives. This approach is the very definition of person centred creative care.

It is deliberately hosted not in a care setting but a theatre, Brentwood Theatre – with all activity taking place on the main stage.  Members absolutely love this I should add! We believe that the combination of reminiscence arts/supplied by Age Exchange, with live music and dance enables participants at all stage of the dementia journey to engage in the way that best suits them and to share their ‘story’ through reminiscence, making and composing music, and dancing as a company.

We are about to deliver our third programme. What we are all trying to do together as a company is to ensure that everyone is empowered through being creative - not receiving some passive form of creative care, but through taking centre stage and sharing their story through making creative work that reflects the lives they have lived and live today. All company members are equal in the process of creativity, everyone has an equal role to play in leading and following the process. Read more about this unique project and the powerful and moving feedback from participants.

Show your support

We are asking visitors to donate when picking up a ribbon to show their support all this week and our cafe is selling tasty Dementia Action themed biscuits to go with your tea.

What could £1,000 help Age Exchange to achieve?

£1,000 could fund a whole day of group activities for 35 people living with dementia and their carers

£1,000 could pay for 10 one-to-one support session delivered in the home

£1,000 could fund 50 afternoons of targeted dementia activities

£1,000 could pay for transport for 100 couples to attend group sessions

Make a donation today

Thank you for your support and generosity.

Art Exhibition

The artwork in the cafe is part of the All Aboard project with the Royal Museums Greenwich. This project used stories of sea voyages contained in journals and diaries to inspire memories and creativity around the subject of travel and better connect with people living with dementia and their carers.

Dementia Action Week resources

Carers Hub Lambeth
Age UK Lambeth
Lambeth Council
Dementia Support Lambeth, Alzheimer's Society
Dementia support, Carers Lewisham
Lewisham Council
Lewisham Dementia Support, Alzheimer's Society
Greenwich Carers
Bromley, Lewisham & Greenwich support
Adults and Older People Greenwich Community Directory
Alzheimer's Society