WORK towards making Tamworth a ‘dementia friendly community’ is now under way, after the proposal received unanimous, cross-party support from Tamworth Borough Council’s Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee.
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.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Alliance co-ordinator for the West Midlands outlined to members of the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee the national framework for a dementia friendly borough and what Tamworth needs to do to achieve dementia friendly status.
The first steps – which were unanimously supported by the committee – involve Tamworth Borough Council signing up to the Dementia Action Alliance initiative and arranging free dementia awareness for the Council’s senior management team, frontline staff and all elected members.
The committee will also 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: “It is pleasing that the proposal to proceed with dementia friendly community status for Tamworth received unanimous support from all members of the Council’s Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee. Tamworth has an aging population and this was highlighted in a recent report naming the Borough as the number one place for retirement.
“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 to make Tamworth a dementia friendly community, but the Healthier & Safer Scrutiny Committee is 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.”
All the dementia awareness training session are free and will have no cost to Tamworth Borough Council, individuals and businesses.