Dementia friendly communities aim to help people with dementia and their carers to feel safe, supported and able to remain involved in community life. There are more than 100 dementia friendly communities in the UK – and Tamworth is now working towards joining their ranks and achieving dementia friendly status.
At Thursday night’s meeting of the Cabinet, the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee asked members to authorise the plan to work for dementia friendly status and support the next step in joining the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Alliance.
The plans received full Cabinet backing, which means Tamworth can now sign up to the local Dementia Action Alliance – the first step in the long-term goal of achieving dementia friendly status.
Signing up will also allow Tamworth Borough Council to access dementia awareness training for the Council’s senior management team, frontline staff and all elected members.
All the dementia awareness training session are free and will have no cost to Tamworth Borough Council, individuals and businesses.
The Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee will talk to families of dementia patients to find out what the major issues they face are, as well as continuing to work very closely with the Alzheimer’s Society.
Working towards and achieving dementia friendly status in Tamworth will help to provide the best possible services to vulnerable members of the community, as well as raising awareness of dementia. Shops and businesses of all types throughout the borough will also be encouraged to offer training to their staff on working with people with dementia.
Cllr Andrew James, Chairman of the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee, said, “I am very pleased that Cabinet has backed the three motions from the committee to start the formal process of making Tamworth a dementia friendly community. It is important to have the full support of Cabinet to ensure the proposal to make Tamworth dementia friendly becomes a reality.
“It is crucial that we get the public and private sector in Tamworth involved in working towards dementia friendly community status, whether it is by getting Council staff, businesses and residents trained as dementia friends or by signing up local organisations, businesses and Tamworth Borough Council to the Dementia Action Alliance initiative.
“It could take up to a year and beyond to make Tamworth a dementia friendly community, but we are focused on getting the process right. Many local residents will know somebody, either a relative or friend, who has some form of dementia and we want Tamworth to be dementia friendly to help both the sufferers and their carers today and in the future, when we are told the numbers will increase.”
Cllr Simon Goodall, Vice-Chairman of the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee, said, “Dementia in its many forms touches so many lives and this is set to rise as diagnosis rates increase in future years. As a Borough Council, we need to actively promote dementia awareness in all aspects of the town’s services and facilities.
“I am delighted that Cabinet has endorsed the challenge that the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee is undertaking to look at dementia and what we can do to improve the lives of those with dementia and their carers.”