Dementia Friendly Communities…..

When dementia first came into my life I soon began to look into every aspect of dementia in the community setting. Whilst people with dementia spend a lot of time interacting with health and social care services, you would expect, from the very nature of their ‘expected’ expertise, that this group would already be getting it right for people with dementia. Obviously I’ve realised,sadly, that this was a naïve assumption and they’re just as likely to need training as someone in a coffee shop.

So dementia friendly community, or I actually prefer the phrase, ‘people friendly’, should include health and social care but not exclusively. The medical model is all too often assumed to be correct because when people think of dementia they think of health and social care, but people with dementia would benefit greatly by integrating with the everyday community so society at large must become aware of how they can help people with dementia.

As well as businesses and organisations, the community themselves – the residents of the community – need to become ‘aware’ of the impact they can have on making it a safe and happy place for people to live. Many residents may have dementia in their lives, but how many realise how many in their community are also affected? After all, it’s all to often a ‘hidden’ disability……..

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

2 thoughts on “Dementia Friendly Communities…..

  1. You are spot on, Wendy, with your preference for “people friendly” environments. You may – or may not(!) – recall from previous comments I have made that I have MS and, although it is not the same as dementia, there are some similarities with regards to cognitive decline which, again, is similar to that many experience through the general ageing process. I had a very interesting conversation with a chap on the train down to London at the weekend. I am guessing he was in his early 50s (or late 40s even) and we somehow got into sharing experiences brought about through difficulties in cognitive processing. It transpired he had experienced a couple of major, life changing, brain haemorrhages a few years ago but, to the casual onlooker did not appear disabled in any way.

    I am heartened though that attitudes do seem to be changing, albeit too slowly in some settings. Last week I messed up my on-line grocery orders (and compounded the issue by bursting into tears) but Sainbury’s and Tesco were equal in their time and patience to sort it out and there was not even a hint of a raised eyebrow when I greeted the delivery chap from Sainbury’s early yesterday afternoon sounding as drunk as a skunk!


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