Colour of money is de­men­tia boost

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STU­ART PIKE

AMAN’S labour of love in­spired by his ex­pe­ri­ence of treat­ing his fa­ther’s de­men­tia has been given a boost, fol­low­ing a five-fig­ure lot­tery grant.

Neil Floyd, from Oswaldtwistle, cre­ated a colour­ing book specif­i­cally for de­men­tia suf­fer­ers con­tain­ing out­lines of spe­cial mo­ments in the suf­ferer’s life­time to trig­ger mem­o­ries and con­ver­sa­tions.

‘East Lan­cashire, My Colour­ful Mem­o­ries’, which has al­ready been pi­loted in lo­cal care homes, has been awarded £10,000 to de­liver work­shops across the re­gion.

Neil, 49, says the fund­ing of­fers a great op­por­tu­nity for the project to really get off the ground, and his ul­ti­mate goal is to see it rolled out all over the coun­try us­ing a fran­chise-type model he is de­vis­ing.

He said: “We’ve got quite a large grant to be able to de­liver the work­shops.

“We have got £10,000 to get these pro­grammes off the ground, which is a good sum. It’s very dif­fi­cult to get the fund­ing and we are really pleased. Now we are able to ex­pand into new com­mu­ni­ties ar­eas.”

Neil, who be­came a full­time carer for his late dad Sa­muel after he de­vel­oped Parkin­son’s and then de­men­tia, ex­plained: “We are get­ting per­sonal pho­tos from a spe­cific pe­riod of time, which is bril­liant for and new peo­ple with de­men­tia and peo­ple with com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lems. Peo­ple are more likely to speak about some­thing fa­mil­iar to them rather than just a generic pho­to­graph.

“It can be any­thing. Pic­tures of trams at Black­pool, mo­tor­bikes, peo­ple’s gar- dens. Things that have made an at­tach­ment to that per­son.

“A lot of peo­ple think it is just colour­ing but when peo­ple look into it they re­alise how unique it is.

“Some­thing just as sim­ple as an image can cre­ate that con­ver­sa­tion - such as a favourite food or TV pro­gramme. We use com­puter tech­nol­ogy which helps speed things up a lit­tle bit.”

Dad-of-one Neil, who runs a shop on Union Road, Oswaldtwistle with his wife Pamela, said he vis­its Mill Lodge in Great Har­wood every fort­night - and has be­come known there as ‘The Colour­ing Man’.

He said: “It’s taken over my life really. Even though I went to univer­sity and did a lot of re­search, my real un­der­stand­ing of it came from look­ing after my fa­ther. That’s what drives me to do it.

“I know the dif­fer­ence it made to him and I know that it’s mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to other peo­ple.”

Neil Floyd, back mid­dle, with his colour­ing book along­side staff and res­i­dents at Mill Lodge care home in Great Har­wood

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