Tamworth has moved closer to becoming a dementia friendly community after the Borough Council’s Cabinet gave its approval to the in-depth action plan, which will allow the borough to work towards achieving dementia friendly status.
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.
In March this year, the plan, put forward by the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee, to work for dementia friendly status and support the next step in joining the Alzheimer’s Society’s local Dementia Action Alliance received full Cabinet backing.
Tamworth Borough Council Chief Executive, Tony Goodwin was also asked to draw up an Action Plan setting out the work, which will be done, and the steps that need to be taken to achieve dementia friendly status.
The plan was backed by the Council’s Cabinet at Thursday night’s meeting. A project team made up of officers and led by Cllr Andrew James will now be set up to develop the next steps. The report will also be submitted in support of the Council’s application for membership of the Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Dementia Action Alliance.
Membership of the Alliance will 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.
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.
In Tamworth, the South East Staffordshire & Seisdon Peninsula CCG has identified mental health as a priority, with specific reference to emotional wellbeing for young people, learning difficulties and dementia.
Estimates suggest that less than half of the residents in Tamworth who are living with dementia have been diagnosed. With around 390 people diagnosed with dementia in the borough, the actual number of people living with the condition could be nearer to 1,000.
Cllr Andrew James, Chairman of the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee, said, “I am really pleased that once again, Cabinet has endorsed the plans and processes needed to work towards 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.”
Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet member for Communities & Wellbeing, said, “One of the main objectives of Tamworth Borough Council to enable people to live a quality life in Tamworth, by supporting and protecting vulnerable people, enabling residents to improve their quality of life and working to tackle inequality.
“The journey towards Tamworth achieving dementia friendly status helps to make Tamworth a place where people with dementia, and their carers, can be supported and respected.”