A YORK campaigner is calling for more to be done to care for people with dementia in the year ahead.
Kim Pennock is a “Purple Angel Ambassador”, raising awareness and encouraging businesses to be dementia friendly.
York’s Grange Hotel, Stillingfleet Lodge Nurseries and Ryedale’s Beck Isle Museum have already signed up to the Purple Angel scheme which shows customers a business knows how to greet and accommodate people with dementia, and now Kim wants launch a special dementia guidebook for York.
Kim said: “I’d like to produce a booklet about dementia friendly places, so if someone comes to York – maybe on holiday with a parent – they can go into a tourist information centre and find out about places they can go.”
Kim is working with The Retreat mental health centre in York to produce the booklet and David Smith, director of development, said they want to get as many different businesses on board as possible.
He said: “We want a broad range of businesses – places to eat, to shop, to drink, and the kind of place you or I would go.
“Kim’s campaigning with the Purple Angel scheme is brilliant. People with dementia often find it difficult to get out. York is a busy place and people with dementia worry about how they will be perceived. Sometimes all it takes is something as simple as a Purple Angel sticker to dispel that anxiety and let people do the things you or I would do.”
As well as working raise awareness around York, Kim has spoken out on the amount of funding the Government gives into research of the condition.
At a G8 summit on dementia in London earlier in December health ministers pledged £132 million for dementia research by 2025, but Kim has said the cash is “too little too late.
She said: “I am very pleased the summit has happened, but I am disappointed. The money is great but it’s not until 2025 and there’s not enough support for careers.
“We need help now, not in 2025. And what about people who are struggling at home trying to look after a parent or a partner? Research is valuable, but it doesn’t help people now.”