People living with dementia tell us that their world, and that of their carer, gets smaller and smaller with isolation and loneliness increasing. People don’t understand the symptoms, are scared of the condition and fear the unknown. Around two thirds of people with a diagnosis of dementia are living at home and SMART Cranleigh want to see people included, welcomed and a part of their local community.
What is a Dementia Friendly Community?
People with dementia and their carers talk about the everyday challenges they face in living well with dementia. This can include difficulty using technology, getting appropriate service in shops, banks and post offices and in using transport, going on holiday or maintaining social contact and hobbies. Although help from health and care services is vitally important, making it possible for people affected by dementia to live well will require help from people and organisations across society
Many people with dementia tell us they want to engage with society but need support to take part in activities they enjoyed before they developed the condition.
A dementia-friendly community is one where people with dementia are understood, respected, supported, and confident they can contribute to community life. It focuses on stigma reduction and the inclusion of people with dementia. In a Dementia Friendly Community, people living with dementia feel supported whether they are at the Post Office, visiting the high street, taking a bus or enjoying hobbies out in the community.
Cranleigh Local Dementia Action Alliance (LDAA)
SMART Cranleigh are inviting people to join the Cranleigh LDAA steering group which will convene shortly. This will enable Cranleigh to become an accredited Dementia Friendly Community and give deserved recognition to the many businesses, organisations, groups and individuals who are working hard to deliver initiatives that improve the wellbeing of those living with dementia and the wider community.
An LDAA is the structure which enables a community to become dementia friendly. An LDAA is made up of a network of stakeholders who want to improve the lives of local people affected by dementia through action.
Typically, an LDAA holds a steering group of about 8-12 people who meet quarterly to decide the priorities for that particular community, by involving or consulting with people affected by dementia. Each member organisation in the LDAA commit to a number of actions outlining the ways in which they aim to become more dementia friendly. Such as: An LDAA will help to connect the community to ensure they are working towards the same dementia friendly goals.