Hednesford’s pioneering dementia-friendly efforts win official recognition
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Hednesford councillors who promoted awareness of dementia have had their efforts recognised with official ‘dementia friendly town’ recognition.
The new status is the first for a town in the Cannock Chase district and has been praised by town councillors. Councillors worked together to help the local community recognise the unique needs of people suffering from the often misunderstood condition.
“Hednesford achievement in gaining this recognition is being discussed throughout the wider Cannock Chase area as we have become trailblazers, and it is an achievement to be proud of and encourage others to follow,” Councillor George Adamson told the first town council meeting since the local elections.
Councillor Doris Grice added: “I am delighted to hear we have been successful in this bid and I would like to thank everyone involved for all their hard work.”
Moves to spread a ‘dementia friendly’ message to other groups in the town, especially traders, to inspire a more dementia friendly environment as well as publicising guidance on empathising better, had been well received, she said.
Councillors also stressed that you can live well with dementia, emphasising the importance of putting the person with dementia at the heart of care, finding out about them and learning about their likes and dislikes.
There are around 800,000 people in the UK with some form of dementia and this will soon be more than a million as our population ages.
The aim is to create dementia-friendly communities where people will be aware of and understand more about dementia so that people with dementia and their carers can be encouraged to seek help. People with dementia should feel included in their community, gain more independence and have more choices.
Councillor Alan Pearson said: “You don’t have to be an expert to become a dementia friend, but the prospect of helping people with a few simple steps such as showing them you care by wearing a dementia friends badge and that you may be able to help a neighbour or someone in the supermarket is hugely important and potentially of great benefit to our community. We look forward to the dementia friendly town initiative having a positive effect and we will promote awareness through the council and working with other groups.”
For more information on how Hednesford Town Council is working towards a ‘dementia friendly town’ and how you may be able to help, please contact Peter Harrison at Pye Green Community Centre on firstname.lastname@example.org.