Dementia Friendly Communities – Alzheimer’s Society


George: The Dementia Friendly Community is
about everyone playing a part, a role, within their community. So for example individuals
can sign up to be Dementia Friends, schools can get involved as well, each week we are
seeing more and more schools wanting to play their part, but as well as that we are seeing
organisations, local businesses, big and small organisations really coming together and making
a change for people with dementia. Anyone, any organisation can play their part
in becoming a dementia friendly community. It’s absolutely vital that people aren’t afraid,
that companies don’t feel that they don’t have a role to play because we know working
with the banking sector, retail, sports, leisure companies, individual businesses that actually
everyone has a responsibility and with that responsibility the commitment to action and
that really improves the quality of life for people with dementia. Fred: If there’s places that haven’t got these clubs, like Crawley has, I do feel sorry for
the people who have got dementia. They sort of help you to help yourself. Joy: I’d just be so elated if people were more understanding and tolerant. George: There are over half a million people living in the community with the condition
and by making small changes we can make a huge difference. Alzheimer’s Society is here
to work with communities up and down the country to create a framework to offer advice and
support but fundamentally to help the mobilization of communities and people with dementia to
work together to improve the quality of life for them. It’s about looking at the needs
of not only the person with dementia but also their carer and close family as well.
The first step to becoming dementia friendly is about being dementia aware sign up to become
a dementia friend then take that message, take that learning from that session into
your community, your home, your business, your organisation and actually spread the
word, that’s the first step and what we find is that people are energised the recognise
that they can make, through small changes, a real difference to the lives of people with
dementia. Keith: I think other organisations should
follow the route that we have taken because of the simple reason that when you become
aware of the terrible effects of this illness why would you not want to help people?
Malcolm: One of the greatest things that we have done is actually bring people together
and have a call to action to make dementia a real key issue for the town, in fact it’s
been very easy to engage people because most of the people we have spoken to in businesses,
in voluntary sector organisations have been touched by dementia in some way.
George: We have a wealth of information on our website but also we have a national network
of coordinators who are working in our communities with local authorities, emergency services,
private organisations, local voluntary groups already, so it is about becoming part of that
community and we can help organisations become part of what is a growing movement.
Alzheimer’s Society wants to see a community, a country where people with dementia can live
well and one of the key drivers to that is through the Dementia Friendly Communities
programme.

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