According to Alzheimer’s Society statistics there are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. This number is set to grow to a million in the next ten years.
Dementia can cause problems with memory, communication or perception of light, space and colour, or cause difficulties with performing everyday tasks like handling money or finding a way. Being dementia friendly is about having awareness of the impact that the condition has on a person and their life, and support them to continue with undertaking everyday tasks, like shopping or accessing local services.
All partners that sign up to Warwickshire’s Dementia Friendly Communities (DFCs) programme will be formally recognised as working towards meeting the national criteria for being dementia friendly and provided with a ‘Working towards becoming Dementia Friendly’ symbol which can be displayed in public areas:
Businesses may have a community charter, or a community benefit component to quality assurance programmes, and making it easier for people with dementia to use local services will contribute to that. Many of the solutions, although aimed at becoming more dementia friendly, are also likely to enhance access and use of services by other groups.
As an example, Everyone Active, sports and leisure provider in Warwickshire, have had all general managers and front of house staff attending dementia awareness training. They have also encouraged all of the staff to become dementia friends and developed a programme of dementia friendly swimming sessions with separate lane provided for the swimmers. The sessions are facilitated by a swimming instructor who has a sound awareness of supporting people with dementia. Carers can attend the session as well or can have a break in the café area.
If you would like more details on how to sign up to become dementia friendly and/or if you wish to join the regional Dementia Action Alliance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Dementia Friendly Communities section on Coventry and Warwickshire Living Well with Dementia Portal: www.livingwellwithdementia.org
You can also follow us on Twitter: @DementiaCandW