Dementia friendly communities

Wales spends £1.4 billion on dementia annually (London School of Economics)

The Alzheimer’s Society research in 2012 found that 75% of the public do not think society is geared up to deal with dementia, and that 61% of people with dementia think that their community doesn’t understand how to help them live well. As the number of people diagnosed with dementia continues to rise the Society has taken steps to introduce Dementia Friendly Communities. These are communities that show high levels of awareness and understanding of dementia – this could be staff in shops and banks, postmen and women, as well as public services such as the police and fire services.

Last year the former Mayor of Mold, Carol Heycocks, suggested to the Town Council that Mold could work towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Community, and contacted Jacky Baldini of The Alzheimer’s Society.

Since then Jacky has been running dementia awareness sessions with organisations in the area, including the Town Council, Mold Town Partnership and Parkfields Community Centre. She explains what small things people can do to make a difference to those affected by dementia, so that they feel they’re still part of the community and are supported to access services.

Following action by Carol and John Heycocks, about 50% of Mold town centre businesses have signed up to find out more about how they can respond well to people with dementia, their families and carers.

In her year in office, Carol raised £10,000 for The Alzheimer’s Society. It is being used to help fund a Dementia Friendly Community Co-ordinator dedicated to rolling out dementia awareness sessions in the area and helping to make Mold a Dementia Friendly Community.

Dementia Friends web site www.dementiafriends.org.uk lists dementia awareness training sessions open for anybody to attend. Or phone Huw Webb or Jacky Baldini on 01352 700462, or email huw.webb@alzheimers.org.uk jacky.baldini@alzheimers.org.uk  to find out more.

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