Project launches to make South Glos dementia-friendly
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Individuals, community groups, charitable organisations and businesses in South Gloucestershire are being invited to an event in January to launch South Gloucestershire becoming dementia-friendly.
South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance, which will support communities and organisations in becoming dementia-friendly, is launching in Patchway on Monday, January 12 at 9.30am.
The alliance is a Southern Brooks Community Partnership project in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Society, NHS South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and South Gloucestershire Council.
Dr Peter Bagshaw is the Clinical Lead for Dementia at South Gloucestershire CCG, the GP-led body responsible for planning and buying healthcare for the local population. He explained: “The Dementia Action Alliance is a two-year pilot project jointly funded by the CCG and the Public Health and Social Care departments of South Gloucestershire Council to support communities and organisations across South Gloucestershire to become dementia-friendly.
“Following a successful pilot in Patchway, which saw the town become the first dementia-friendly community in South Gloucestershire, work to support communities and organisations across the whole of South Gloucestershire become dementia-friendly has been commissioned.
“South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance will work with local businesses, community groups, statutory and voluntary agencies to make South Gloucestershire a better place for people with dementia and their carers to live.”
Community Development Worker for Southern Brooks Community Partnership, Eleanor Fairbrother, who is leading the project, said: “It is time to get everyone talking about dementia to reduce stigma and stop people becoming isolated unnecessarily. We want people living with dementia to be able to lead normal, active lives for as long as possible. We are looking for people, and organisations to get in touch and start making changes in their own communities.”
During the launch event, there will be speakers and workshops aimed at helping communities and organisations become more dementia-friendly.
Dr Bagshaw added: “Dementia is one of the biggest health crises facing the UK at the moment. There are currently 670,000 people in England who have dementia and an estimated 21 million people in England have a close friend or family member with dementia. In South Gloucestershire, it is estimated there are more than 3,000 people with dementia.
“One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia, a very high proportion. But people with dementia can live well, and it is the responsibility of the rest of the community to help them do so.
“It is only by personally understanding the issues that people living with dementia face that we can fully appreciate the challenges they have to overcome on a day-to-day basis.”
Amanda Deeks, Chief Executive of South Gloucestershire Council, is a keynote speaker at the event. She said: “The council is committed to ensuring that people with dementia can live well in South Gloucestershire and we are pleased to be working with Alzheimer’s Society, the CCG and Southern Brooks Community Partnership to make this happen.
“It’s important that we understand the specific needs of people with dementia and their carers so that we can offer the right support to local communities, businesses and organisations to help them become dementia-friendly.”
The South Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance launch event takes place at Coniston Community Centre in Patchway on Monday, January 12 from 9.30am until 1.30pm. Lunch will be provided.
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