Conservative MEP for London Marina Yannakoudakis has visited a ‘dementia café’ in Barnet today in support of the Alzheimer’s Society. The event was sponsored by Councillor Lisa Rutter, former Mayor of Barnet, and sought to raise awareness of the disease.

Dementia cafés allow sufferers to seek advice and information, but also offer people opportunities to meet new people and socialise. They have proven very popular across the UK, US and Europe.

Speaking at the event, Golders Green Rotary Club member Nevile Robinson promoted a new initiative called “Message in a Bottle”.

The Club is attempting to set up a system encouraging people with dementia to use special bottles labelled “emergency data link”. Vital information including names, addresses, next of kin and medical requirements can be placed into the special bottle which is then later put into a fridge. A label is then placed on the inside door of the fridge in order to inform emergency services. They can then identify the bottle and use it to administer care and attention to the vulnerable individual.

The scheme, initially tried in Cardiff four years ago has so far saved 19 lives. With increased publicity it is hoped that the scheme can grow to save many more.  

The idea has given dementia sufferers in the UK another vital tool to aid them in their fight against the disease.

 Speaking about the initiative Marina said: “Dementia cafés have proven to be successful throughout Europe. It is particularly good to see that the initiatives not only provide a place to socialise and share experiences, but can also offer practical advice on how to deal with dementia.”

 Marina Yannakoudakis is Vice Chairman of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance.