A project to make Stockton a more dementia-friendly borough has won national recognition from the Alzheimer’s Society.
The Dementia Friendly Stockton Project, led by Stockton Council and Cleveland Alzheimer's Residential Centre, encourages organisations across the Borough to take a number of affordable, achievable steps that will make them more accessible and meet the needs of customers affected by dementia.
Through the project local shops, restaurants, libraries and other organisations are being offered support to increase their awareness of dementia and make their premises more dementia-friendly.
The project has now been recognised by the national Alzheimer’s Society which, in September, launched a UK wide drive to publicly identify communities that are working to become more dementia friendly.
Councillor Jim Beall, Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Health, said: "Dementia can be an extremely distressing and demanding condition – for both those experiencing its symptoms and those caring for loved ones who are experiencing the condition.
“By working with businesses and services for the public across Stockton, we aim to increase the awareness of people working in them so they are able to recognise someone who has dementia.
“This will enable those living with the condition to go about their day to day business, whether they’re out shopping or collecting their pension, and receive an understanding and supportive response.
“We are calling for businesses to take the opportunity to sign up and support our work to make Stockton a more dementia-friendly place.”
Gayle Tweed, Chief Executive of Cleveland Alzheimer's Residential Centre, added: “With the number of people affected by dementia in the area predicted to rise steeply over the next 20 years, more needs to be done to support people and their families.
“By supporting people to understand the condition and respond effectively to the needs of customers with dementia, the project can help those living with the disease to maintain their independence and remain part of their community.”
All organisations taking part in the project will display the national ‘Working to become more Dementia Friendly’ symbol.
Any organisation that would like to join the project and become more dementia friendly should contact Peter Otter, Dementia Friendly Link Worker for Cleveland Alzheimer's Residential Centre on (01642) 611110 or email [email protected]