dementia friendly communities

Scottish charity the life Changes Trust has invested a further £2.5 million in communities that are dementia friendly

In 2015, the Life Changes Trust initially funded 12 dementia friendly communities over three years which have now developed into a further 82. To date, more than 3,400 people with dementia and 2,000 carers have directly benefited from being part of a dementia friendly community.

These communities provide a structure and culture that make it possible for people affected by dementia to do things that matter to them, remain integrated and active in their own communities and participate in decisions that affect their day-to-day lives.

This new investment of £2.5million will support 14 new communities, as well as providing some longer-term support for previously funded communities.

Scotland is leading the way in understanding how communities that are dementia friendly work best.

As well as providing information, support and opportunities, they draw on the abilities that people with dementia still have so they can contribute to their communities. They currently involve people with dementia aged from 39 to 104.

Current projects include:

  • Stornoway – people with dementia in care homes have been sharing their knowledge of local stories, anecdotes and now-unused objects in order to preserve local history and leave a legacy for the local community, museums and researchers.
  • A dementia friendly musical theatre community is run by Centrestage in Kilmarnock.
  • Glasgow Film Theatre is offering monthly “Movie Memories” film screenings to make sure that people with dementia are not excluded from the cinema-going community.
  • The British Deaf Association is raising awareness of living with hearing loss and dementia, providing resources.
  • Table Tennis Scotland supports people with dementia so they can still keep playing the sport they love or take it up as a new way of keeping fit.
  • New funding was also awarded to Scottish Ballet, Regional Screen Scotland, Edinburgh Leisure, Dementia Friendly Highlands, Dementia Orkney, the Forget-Me-Not Club in Banchory, Dementia Friendly Uists, Dementia Friendly Pentlands, Stirling and Forth Valley Dementia Friendly Neighbourhoods and care home communities in East Ayrshire and Kelso.

Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust dementia programme said, “The solution to getting it right for people with dementia lies with communities, and the relationships within them.

“Communities come in all shapes and sizes but any community can become dementia friendly if it follows some basic principles. These principles include focusing more on what people with dementia can do rather than what they can’t, and enabling them to do what really matters to them.

“We need many more communities across Scotland to take this approach so they can support people after a dementia diagnosis and make sure they do not become isolated and lonely.”


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