Parish plans to improve area for dementia sufferers

COUNCILLORS have agreed to explore the possibility of making the East Chevington parish a dementia-friendly community.

And members want it to form part of a wider push to promote the area as a good place to live.

At this month’s meeting, Reverend Sue Reilly spoke about dementia and building dementia-friendly communities.

The Alzheimer’s Society has been at the forefront of this initiative.

Working with governments and other organisations, the charity is supporting communities who want to become dementia-friendly.

A dementia-friendly community is one in which people with the condition are empowered to have high aspirations and feel confident, knowing they can contribute and participate in activities that are meaningful to them.

To achieve this, communities should focus on 10 key areas.

These include involving people with dementia, challenging the stigma and building an understanding of the condition and providing accessible community activities.

Other important points are having easy-to-navigate environments, promoting awareness of dementia in all shops, businesses and services and ensuring access to early diagnosis and post-diagnostic support.

Offering practical support to enable engagement in community life and community-based solutions are other key factors on the list.

Parish council chairman Coun Scott Dickinson was interested in the initiative.

He said: “Dementia is high on the agenda at the moment.

“Creating a dementia-friendly community would be worthwhile.

“A lot of these things happen in the community already and if there is anything we can do to recognise ourselves as a dementia-friendly community then I don’t see why we shouldn’t attempt to do it.”

He added that other groups in the community should be invited to explore the dementia-friendly idea alongside parish councillors.

Coun Ann Elliott suggested that it should form part of a wider campaign to promote the area’s interests and benefits.

Last month, members agreed to form a working group with councillors and other interested groups to crack down on the problems of litter after four members of the public turned up to the September meeting with three bin bags full of litter.

Coun Elliott said: “Rather than saying we are going for just anti-litter we should build up something more high profile and go for something more positive and something we can aim for.

“We should be saying, this is a quality place to live in’.”

It was agreed to have one council-led working group to look at different issues.

Coun Dickinson added: “We could have one group, looking at dementia in the community and the issues with litter and flower beds and the group’s agenda would evolve over time.”

l Dementia support, P27