East Devon Coastal Towns Dementia Action Alliance
Shops in Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth are beginning to display “Dementia Friendly Town” stickers in their windows.
In the retirement area of Coastal East Devon, we have a much higher population of older people and consequentially a correspondingly higher than national average number of people living with dementia.
Mark McGlade, Director of Home Instead Senior Care launched the Dementia Friendly Town initiative in Budleigh Salterton in November 2012. This was followed shortly after by the launch of a similar initiative in Sidmouth in which Mark worked closely with Mark Williams and the Sid Valley Mental Health Implementation Team which campaigned to improve the lives of those in the community living with dementia and their carers. After Mark Williams died in April 2013, Mark McGlade continued to help coordinate dementia friendly activities across the Sidmouth area with the support of the Memory Café, local Lions and Rotarians and the local Chambers of Commerce, providing dementia workshops and training for customer facing staff in local shops and to families and friends of those living with dementia.
Following successful engagement with many new groups in Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth, the initiative has grown momentum with active participation and support of Memory Café’s, Lions, Rotary Clubs, Chamber of Commerce, church groups and health care professionals. Mark McGlade and his wife, Vanessa became Dementia Champions in January 2014 and provide Alzheimer Society Dementia Friends workshops in the local community.
In March 2015, community leaders in neighbouring Exmouth, led by Tony Siddall of the Exmouth branch of Devon Senior Voice, decided to make Exmouth Dementia Friendly and they joined the Budleigh Salterton/Sidmouth working group to learn from their experiences. Interest in collaboration soon grew and it was not long before Seaton also expressed interest in joining the group. In the early summer of 2015 it was decided at a joint meeting to form the East Devon Coastal Towns Dementia Action Alliance to include the four coastal towns of Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth, Seaton and Sidmouth and share best practice and coordinate dementia friendly awareness.
The East Devon Coastal Towns Dementia Action Alliance aims to make a significant difference by:
- Increasing awareness and understanding of dementia.
- Identifying the needs of local people living with dementia and their carers.
- Establishing ‘community support’ including High Street shop schemes.
- To bring together Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth, Seaton and Sidmouth (and surrounding villages) and to share ‘best practices’ and coordinate joint activities.
- To provide a forum for organisations covering the East Devon Coastal Towns area to discuss their dementia friendly actions.
The four towns of Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth, Seaton and Sidmouth each have a proud history of supporting those living with dementia and their carers. Each town has an active Memory Café but also a much higher than national average of older people living in the community. The challenge for many communities is how to de-stimatise dementia and to create a more caring and dementia friendly environment for all. It can be a long and hard process to change perceptions, but with education and understanding, great things can be achieved. Bringing together like-minded champions from across the East Devon Coastal Towns area we are able to build a greater momentum, share best practices, help more people and ultimately speed up the process of making our towns more dementia friendly.
Chambers of Commerce in Budleigh and Sidmouth endorse the Dementia Friendly Towns and arranged dementia training workshops for shop keepers and customer facing staff. Shops in Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth are beginning to display “Dementia Friendly Town” stickers in their windows. The Sid Valley Memory Café arranged afternoon respite for carers and has led the way to fund raise for an Admiral Nurse in the local community. Town Councillors have supported the scheme. Local Schools are receiving dementia education. Home Instead is providing free Dementia Workshops in the community for family and friends in how to care for people with dementia. Alzheimers Society Dementia Friends workshops are being organised to bring greater understanding of dementia to a wider audience. The local Patient Participation Groups are becoming actively engaged to support the Dementia Friendly Towns initiative. Local Lions and Rotary Clubs are active supporters and keen to be involved.
Steering Group meetings of the Dementia Action Alliance will be held every 2-3 months with similar local town liaison meetings to coordinate activities at a local level.
How to join the LDAA
The East Devon Coastal Towns Dementia Action Alliance will encourage new members to join by written application or through enrolment via the Local Alliances website.
Chairperson: Mark McGlade
For Further Details Phone 01395 200600
or email: email@example.com