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What can communities do?

Communities are the key to people living with dementia and their carers being able to lead active lives. Two thirds of people with dementia still live in their communities. The fact that dementia is progressive means that for a long time, people with dementia can live active, engaged, valuable lives with a small amount of support from those around them.

Parish and town councils

Councils have a key role to enable people with dementia and their carers to participate as active citizens in their community, and to be able to make decisions as much as possible about their own lives..

Councils are in a prime place to influence other organisations to get involved, lead by example, and raise awareness about dementia.

  • sign up to join South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance, be part of a support network, and pledge at least one action to help make our communities more dementia friendly.
  • initiate a local action group around dementia
  • employ a Community Development Worker to really kick-start your community, working to be dementia friendly. Get in touch for more information
  • become dementia aware: Ask your councillors and staff to sign up to become a ‘Dementia Friend’ via the website, attend an hour long session locally, or re-quest we run one for free for you. Once you are dementia aware, you can proudly display our window sticker to promote what you have done
  • improve your policies and guidelines to support people living with dementia
  • pass motions to include the needs of people with dementia as an accessibility issue when planning new developments
  • pass a motion to pledge to support dementia friendly actions in your area
  • spread information signposting people living with dementia and their carers to relevant services
  • initiate a new carers’ support group, or social group for people with dementia
  • spread the word about dementia and our work to your parishioners and networks

Set up a local action group

By working together across a community, you can support each other to make real changes.

  • get local stakeholders together to see what partnership work can be done
  • consult people with dementia and their carers to see what they want to happen locally
  • sign up local organisations to join South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance, and work towards becoming dementia friendly
  • initiate dementia friendly projects in your area
  • train people in your area as Dementia Champions to run sessions in your community
  • join South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance and benefit from a support network of organisations working to become dementia friendly

Set up dementia friendly projects

Make existing communities dementia friendly, or set up new projects aimed at supporting people with dementia or their carers, for example activity groups, memory cafés, carers’ support groups. Get in touch for advice on how to do this.

Case Study:

Dementia-friendly Yate 2015

Following on from the successful pilot in Patchway from 2013-14, Yate Town Council wanted to commit funds to develop as a dementia-friendly community. Debbie Woolley began in post in Jan 2015, funded by Yate Town Council and employed by Southern Brooks Community Partnerships.

Over the first 6 months of the initiative in Yate, the following outcomes were achieved:

  • eight people trained as Dementia Champions
  • 55 Children aged 7–11 have been trained as Dementia Friends and met someone with Dementia
  • 150 adults in Yate attended Dementia Friends’ awareness sessions
  • #DAW2015 for national Dementia Awareness Week, six information displays around Yate -roadshows and talks at local libraries
  • £521 raised

Yate Action Alliance has been set up with 16 public and private sector organisations. Pledges include: training all staff, training customers, setting up a memory café, making the public side of the organisation more dementia friendly.

Who is involved?

Merlin Housing, Wards Solicitors, Yate Leisure, Lloyds Bank, Sirona Care, Alzheimer’s Society, Ridgeway Centre, local resident with dementia, Yate shopping centre, Pop inn café, Green Community Transport, St Mary’s School, St Mary’s craft group and Tesco.

Contact:

Winsome Barrett-Muir, Community Development Project coordinator, dementia@southernbrooks.org.uk, 01454 868 570, Southern Brooks Community Partnerships, Coniston Community Centre, Coniston Road, Patchway, South Glos, BS34 5LP

Twitter: @SouthGlosDAA        Facebook Page: @SouthGlosDAA

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