4th Dec, 2016

Evesham could be first in county to become 'dementia friendly'

Joshua Godfrey 27th Mar, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

AN ACTION plan is being drawn up by local community groups, charities, businesses and councillors to make Evesham the first dementia friendly town in Worcestershire.

Initial talks took place between Evesham town councillors and key community groups on Tuesday (March 22) in a bid to push ahead with plans to make the town more accessible for people with dementia.

If successful, Evesham could play host to the Side by Side project which has been launched by the Alzheimer’s Society to help people living with dementia carry on doing the things they love.

Wychavon has the highest number of diagnoses in Worcestershire. Overall, there are 8,600 currently living with a diagnosis of dementia in the county.

Side by Side is now urging Evesham residents to become dementia friends to help people with dementia continue to get and about and to prevent them from becoming isolated from the community.

From joining a local club, going to the football, or just going for a stroll in the park – Side by Side is a new Alzheimer’s Society service which helps people with dementia to keep doing the things they love and get out and about with the support of a volunteer.

This extra support can make it easier for people with dementia, who might sometimes feel isolated or find it difficult to leave their homes, to do things they may otherwise take for granted and feel part of their local community.

The service is highly flexible and built around the individual and their needs.

Funded through voluntary income, Side by Side is currently being developed in a number of areas across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

By 2017, the charity hopes every person with dementia will have the opportunity to access the service.

Coun Jenny Johnson, Chair of the Evesham Older People’s Forum, said: “All areas of our community are aware of and recognise people living with dementia and know how to best support them.

“We want to challenge the stigma and build awareness and make Evesham the first Dementia Friendly town in Worcestershire.”

For more information on how to become a dementia friend or news on upcoming events and projects email Jo.Hughes@alzheimers.org.uk.