New Dementia Friendly Community guidance is published

New Dementia Friendly Community guidance is published

Published 9 July 2015

Guidance for communities to become Dementia Friendly has been published today (Thursday 9 July) by BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body, in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Society and the Department of Health.

Currently there are 108 communities working to become dementia friendly, more than five times the original target of 20 set to be achieved by 2015 by the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia.

The guidance, PAS 1365 Code of practice for the recognition of dementia-friendly communities in England, sets out a framework building on the process of becoming a dementia-friendly community outlined by Alzheimer’s Society. It directs users on how to get started and provides additional resources so local communities can continue to become dementia-friendly. Communities who meet criteria are given a symbol which they can give to organisations and businesses who have stated what actions they have taken towards becoming dementia-friendly.

Crawley is on its way to becoming dementia friendly having started a two-year programme established by Crawley Dementia Alliance working with a wide range of organisations to bring clinical and social aspects together. The aim is to support people with dementia to get the help they need to carry on with everyday life and continue to do things they enjoy.

To achieve this, they have developed activities to raise awareness of dementia and improve people’s experience of the services and support they receive in the community. Local groups have been formed for carers, people with dementia, a dementia friendly project for men specifically, and a group for black and minority ethnic women. Other initiatives include school visits to bring generations together to increase young people’s awareness of dementia and Crawley Forward Thinking, which gets the views of people with dementia and their carers to review proposals and developments.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society said:

‘Life does not end when dementia begins. A dementia-friendly community is one in which people with dementia are empowered, and feel confident knowing they can contribute and participate in activities that are meaningful to them. This guidance will help more communities realise their ambition of becoming dementia-friendly. Awareness and local support are essential to allow those with the condition to continue to enjoy life, through activities as everyday as visiting the local shop or using the local leisure facilities.’

The guidance is relevant to all community based services and providers, from retailers, GPs, transport providers, community services and activities, to leisure providers.

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