Monday 21st September marks World Alzheimer’s Day the international campaign to raise awareness of the challenges and the stigma that surrounds dementia.
More organisations across the borough are now being urged to support the Colchester Dementia Action Alliance (DAA), the collaboration partnership initiated by ONE Colchester, the strategic partnership for the district, and implemented by organisations including Colchester Borough Council and Community360.
The DAA has grown since November 2016 which includes businesses, community groups and public sector organisations who are working to implementing positive actions to provide better access to services for people living with dementia.
Many people in Colchester are living with dementia, and with an increasing and ageing population in the borough, the rate of dementia will increase along with demand for local dementia-friendly services. Becoming a dementia-friendly community does not always mean a big investment. Often it is just about communities assessing the way they deliver services and changing the way they respond.
Here at Community360 we know all too well that small changes can make an important difference in people’s lives. We recognise that by working in partnership and encouraging local people and groups to commit to simple actions, they can improve the experience of residents and carers. Dementia-friendly communities are vital in helping people live well with dementia and remain a part of their community.
Many businesses have already attended information sessions to become Dementia Friends and we would encourage all businesses in the town to get behind this scheme and take up the training opportunities we are rolling out in the ‘new normal’
We are now we now able to offer training sessions online, making it easier for people to participate from home or office with sessions lasting just 30 minutes.
The training gives an idea of what it is like to live with dementia. It encourages simple changes like being more patient, what signs to look out for and what different surrounding can trigger for someone with dementia.
Heavily subsidised Dementia Awareness Level 2 accredited training is also available if you live in the borough of Colchester. For full details and to book log onto: http://vst.community360.org.uk/
Community360 is about to launch its’ 2nd Dementia Voices report, Living in Lockdown, which looks at the experience of people with dementia and family carers during lockdown and has been well-received by partner organisations. It records verbatim the voice and experience of people with dementia with some powerful and compelling stories too.
Membership of the Colchester DAA is completely free. Members however do have to commit to 3 actions so that people with dementia and carers have improved access to services. It can be actions that are ongoing or actions that have been implemented in the past. They can then receive peer support, access to free training and benefit from the opportunity to take part in local events and campaigns.