It’s World Alzheimer’s Month right now and, with perfect timing, Swindon has just been recognised for its work in supporting people living with dementia and their carers.
The town has been formally accredited by the Alzheimer’s Society as ‘working towards a dementia friendly community’ where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported.
Support in the town is going from strength to strength, and the Swindon Dementia Action Alliance is working hard to drive forward the efforts of shopping centres, libraries, schools, health care organisations and leisure centres to become dementia friendly.
Ferndale Primary School is one of the first schools in Swindon to work to become dementia friendly, with their first session taking place on 12 September. Over the next few weeks each of their pupils from Key Stage one upwards will attend a dementia friends awareness session, delivered by a volunteer Dementia Friends Champion.
Susan Lambert, the Council’s Dementia Friendly Coordinator, said: “We’re delighted that Ferndale Primary School have taken up our offer of dementia friend sessions. These are free one hour sessions, tailored to adults or children, that can be delivered to groups or organisations and are part of a wide range of Dementia Friendly Swindon projects taking place. We know that dementia will touch many of these children’s lives, and anything we can do to increase awareness and help remove its stigma is a positive thing. We’re sure the children and staff will enjoy the sessions and we hope other schools will get in touch to arrange theirs’.
“Anyone who wants more information on the work of the Swindon Dementia Action Alliance, is welcome to phone me on 07980 933636 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“There is a wealth of information on the Dementia Friends website at www.dementiafriends.org.uk
or people can watch their online video
Councillor Brian Ford, Cabinet Member for Adults’ Health and Social Care, added:
“Gaining this accreditation from the Alzheimer’s Society is a great achievement. Thank you to everyone who gives up their time to support people in Swindon who are living with dementia and their carers. We have plenty of exciting projects in the pipeline working in partnership with people with dementia and their families and carers, and we look forward to getting lots more people and organisations involved.”
“Anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend. Having learned about what it’s like to live with dementia they can turn that understanding into action. Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways volunteers can help, from telling friends about Dementia Friends to visiting someone you know living with dementia. Every action counts and can make a big difference to their lives.”