Posted by: westlancashirerecord | February 9, 2017

Work Starts Towards A Dementia Friendly West Lancashire

West Lancashire Dementia Action Alliance recently held its first meeting since its launch in December, to begin working towards a Dementia Friendly West Lancashire. With the number of people living with Dementia across the UK nearing one million and locally in West Lancashire around 1,500, it is more important than ever to support those living with dementia and their carers dementiafriendly_portrait_rgb-_1617 .

The Dementia Action Alliance is a national initiative with over 300 local groups working to make their communities more dementia friendly and supporting those living with dementia to live well and independently in the community for longer. Alliances pull together local organisations from all backgrounds including statutory bodies such as councils, NHS and social care, emergency services, voluntary community and faith organisations and local businesses, as well as enthusiastic volunteers who wish to help drive the project forward.

At the heart of creating more dementia friendly communities is the rollout of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends initiative, which is a social action movement aimed at breaking down the stigma around dementia and giving the public a basic understanding of the condition. Through the meeting there were many priority areas identified for the Alliance to work on including
• supporting volunteers to provide dementia friendly activities and cafes
• making local transport (buses and taxis) more dementia friendly
• developing a go-to directory of local services and support
• supporting more active healthy lifestyles engaging with Active West Lancs

Gareth Dowling garethd, Dementia Action Alliance Coordinator for Lancashire and Merseyside and Interim Chair of West Lancashire DAA is excited about the project. He said “I am delighted West Lancashire has joined a national movement and 300 other local groups in working to become a Dementia Friendly Community. With the strain on health and social care services and shortages nationwide in residential care homes places it is becoming incumbent on local communities to support ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbours. Through the Dementia Friends initiative we are opening minds to what dementia actually is and how we can live well with it, but only with a diagnosis, the right support and medication and the local community taking small actions that can make a lasting difference.

“It is quite pleasing to now get this group set up in the community where I live and the support from agencies, organisations and volunteers has been incredible already. What we must do now is use this momentum to drive forward our vision and ensure we take actions to improve the lives of those living with dementia and their carers in our community and I’d like to thank all our supporters for their input”. uniteddementia

Key organisations supporting the initiative include Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, NCompass, Care & Repair, CVS, Borough and County Council, Ormskirk Hospital, Home Instead Senior Care, Ormskirk Community Partnership, Cottage Lane Mission, Edge Hill University and Students’ Union, Police and Fire Service, U3A and West Lancashire Pensioners Forum, local Dementia Friends Champion Joe Sherville, local media and many others.


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