Working group to help the council achieve its goal of a dementia friendly Highlands

The Highland Council today agreed a cross-party motion to set up a working group of members, officers and relevant bodies to develop an action plan to help the council achieve its goal of a dementia friendly Highlands. 

There are presently 90,000 people in Scotland with Dementia.  This includes over 4200 people with dementia in Highland.

Members of the Community Safety, Public Engagement and Equalities Committee signed up to becoming a Dementia Friend at their meeting June 2015.

A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action. Anyone can become a Dementia Friend. Scotland now has over 10,000 Dementia Friends who have signed up to support people with dementia in their communities.

Alzheimer Scotland is currently working with The Highland Council, Inverness BID, NHS Highland, Inverness Chamber of Commerce, the local District Partnership and others to make Inverness a Dementia Friendly city.

The Council’s Learning and Development Team have carried out Dementia Awareness training for a number of years and held a training session for Members and staff on 28 August.

Cllr Jaci Douglas said: “The Highland Council recognises and supports a dementia friendly Highlands. However, it is often small changes by ourselves and other partners that can make a huge positive difference to the lives of those affected by dementia.”

Convener of Highland Council, Cllr Isobel McCallum welcomed the motion.  She said: “Dementia affects many people and it could happen to any of us in the future. It is really important that we all understand more about the condition and what we can do to help in any way we can.”

Geraldine Ditta, who is based in the Inverness Dementia Resource Centre in Inverness, said: “Anybody can become a Scottish Dementia Friend. It’s just about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things you can do to help people with the condition. This could be helping someone find the right bus or being patient in a till queue, if someone with dementia is taking longer to pay.”

To become a dementia friend or to find out more about the Dementia Friendly Community project please visit www.dementiafriendsscotland.org or contact the Dementia resource Centre in Inverness on 01463 711 707 or email highlanddrc@alzscot.org.

17 Dec 2015
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