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Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on how York could be “dementia-friendly”
A LANDMARK report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) today outlines how York could become a truly “dementia-friendly” community.
A Dementia Without Walls project in York has been looking at what would make the city a good place to live for people with dementia and their carers.
Key recommendations include:
• Making it as easy as possible to move around city, with uncluttered and clear signs, and making public transport and facilities comfortable, easy to use and accessible
• Providing training for staff who provide key services in the wider community, such as in banks, libraries and shops, to improve their understanding of people’s needs and removing stigma
• Posting symbols at venues such as theatres, cinemas and cafés to indicate they offer dementia-friendly services.
The report, shaped by local people affected by dementia, also suggested dementia sufferers and carers should be encouraged to network and share their experiences, creating a York Dementia Action Alliance.
It said City of York Council had already committed to make sure all its services became dementia-friendly.
Philly Hare, programme manager for An Ageing Society at JRF, said: “This project has demonstrated how important it is that we all challenge the attitudes, understanding and behaviours around dementia which reinforce stigma, isolation and exclusion.
“Raising awareness at all levels and in all sectors will help those who provide everyday services understand better what people with dementia need.”
John Kennedy, director of care services at the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, said: “This is an important time for York to become a dementia-friendly place.
“Despite the tough economic climate, there are a number of opportunities we must seize to achieve this goal. Many are simple changes that can help with everyday tasks – yet they can make the biggest difference in helping those with dementia lead a rich and fulfilling life.”
Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, the council’s cabinet member for health, housing and adult social services, said: “Communities which are dementia-friendly have more opportunity to support people in the early stages of dementia, maintaining and boosting their confidence and ability to manage everyday living.”