Dementia Friendly Community
A dementia friendly community is one which enables people to find their way around and be safe, be able to access familiar local facilities for example banks, shops, post offices, libraries, cafes, pubs, restaurants, garden centres and stay connected. Creating a Dementia Friendly Community is guided by people with dementia and their carers.
We aim to make East Dunbartonshire a Dementia Friendly Community.
A Dementia friendly community enables people to:
- Find their way around and be safe
- Access familiar local facilities (eg. community hubs, banks, shops, post offices, libraries, cafes, pubs, restaurants and garden centres)
- Maintain their social networks so they can continue to belong
- Have a voice and the right to independent advocacy
A Dementia Friendly community can be enabled by:
- Raising awareness of dementia
- Supporting local groups for people with dementia and carers
- Providing information about local services and facilities
- Encourage services and facilities to be more accessible and inclusive for people with dementia
We know the population is aging and the proportion of people with dementia will rise sharply over the next 20 years. People with dementia tell us that one of the most distressing parts of their experience is their increased reliance on others when they have been used to freedom and self-determination. When a person with dementia seeks help, it is more effective if people they encounter have some understanding of the issues they face, and treat them as an individual with dignity and respect. A good example of this is where a club or group rally to support one of their members who develops dementia and may need a bit more support to take part in activities.
More of us, including those of us with dementia, may want to lead healthier, more active lives and continue to access the existing supports our communities offer.
Peer Support for People with Dementia
People with dementia and their carers say that peer support groups are important as they provide opportunities to speak to other people in a similar situation and provide social interaction, which often is much needed. In East Dunbartonshire we have four De Cafes (Dementia Cafes) which provides the opportunity for peer support for more information contact Ceartas on 0141 775 0433. Health Innovation Network South London has developed a resource pack to help groups and organisations better support people with dementia in their communities. Their Peer Support for People with Dementia Resource Pack has many useful ideas as well as guidance and resources to help people who want to run groups for or including people with dementia.
Co-production in East Dunbartonshire
Co-production in East Dunbartonshire is about professionals and communities making better use of each other’s skills, assets and resources to achieve better outcomes. PRESENT is about giving people living with dementia a stronger presence in their local communities. A report sets out the achievements of PRESENT as of February 2016 and illustrates how it made a difference to people living with dementia in East Dunbartonshire. A further Report produced by the local consultancy company Integratis Consulting provides qualitative evidence of the difference PRESENT has made to people living with dementia. In particular, the report captures people participating in PRESENT through a series of personal statements and a number of sound clips.
To become involved get in touch through Dementia Voices on 0141 775 0433 or contact East Dunbartonshire Council on 03001234510 and ask for Social Work.
Your organisation, charity, business or school can take up the opportunity of Dementia Awareness Training for your staff and perhaps review the built environment how better lighting, signs, colour, layout and shape affect a person with dementia’s cognitive ability to understand where they are and what they should be doing.
Recognising the Signs of Dementia
A resource for recognising the signs of dementia has been developed by Alzhiemer’s Australia, Is It Dementia? Dementia is not always obvious and this resource helps raise awareness of the everyday impact dementia has on many people within the community.
For advice and support in making East Dunbartonshire a Dementia Friendly Community please contact The East Dunbartonshire Dementia Network.