In the run-up to the ‘Let’s talk about … Dementia’ event at Cramond Residence on the 18th June 2022, we look at an amazing initiative that helps raise awareness of dementia – it’s one everyone can take part in.
“In order for people to live well with dementia, our local communities need to understand and support those living with the condition,” says Anne McWhinnie, Dementia Friendly Scotland Lead for Alzheimer Scotland. “This can only be achieved by communities becoming more aware of dementia and making often simple adjustments to enable people with dementia to remain active citizens.”
In response to this challenge, Anne and the rest of the team at Alzheimer Scotland are working to ensure that people living with dementia do not become isolated, excluded and detached from their community. One of the key projects they use to do this is the Dementia Friends programme which helps people understand dementia and shows them the simple things they can do to help. The next step on from this is the Dementia Friendly Community initiative, which has been spearheaded in the town of Motherwell and in many other communities across Scotland, including Prestwick, Dunblane, Fife and Aberfeldy.
“The Dementia Friendly Community initiative is a significant step forward,” Anne says. “It shows what can be done not just in one community, but across the whole of the country.”
The Motherwell project started seven years ago and has proved to a model that is used for other communities to shape their own DFC work. The project proactively engages with all parts of the local community and has opened not just doors but hearts and minds. For example, the team developed the strapline ‘Dementia is Everyone’s Busness’ and then went out to speak to target shops, business and organisations to show them how they could make themselves more welcoming to people living with the condition.
“Bringing like-minded people together who can make change is the first step in carrying out this important piece of work,” says Anne, who emphasises the importance of ensuring that people with dementia and their carers are always central to decision making, and have a voice around the table in making and creating a dementia friendly community.
“Everyone can be involved,” Anne adds, “from shop assistants, public service workers, faith groups, businesses, police, fire and ambulance staff; to bus drivers, school pupils, local clubs and societies, and community leaders.”
Are you worried about Dementia or caring for someone living with the condition? Come and enjoy an afternoon in the garden at Cramond Residence on the 18th June and get all your questions answered. For full details click here. To register your interest, email: email@example.com
To find out more about the Dementia Friendly community project visit https://www.alzscot.org/our-work/dementia-friendly-communities.
If you would like to find out more about Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Friendly work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org