Christchurch Dementia Action Alliance

Achievements

Registered as a Dementia Friendly Community

DementiaFriendly

History

In March 2012 the Prime Minister raised the profile of dementia by setting his Dementia Challenge, which was to deliver major improvements in dementia care and research by 2015. In that challenge there was a commitment to the development of Dementia Friendly Communities across the UK.

Dorset partners have responded to this challenge and secured funding to appoint Dementia Action Alliance Co-ordinators through the Alzheimer’s Society, who will be helping communities of Dorset become dementia-friendly. 

Christchurch has been chosen to be at the forefront of this exciting and innovative development to help improve the experiences of people living with dementia and their carers in the local community.

The Alliance will comprise of representatives from local businesses, civic organisations, health and social care providers, faith groups and rescue services.

Formation of a Local Alliance will help deliver the objectives of the National Dementia Declaration at a local level and support the objectives of the Christchurch Health and Wellbeing strategy.

A number of consultation events have been held in for those living with dementia, carers and local business and organisations to identify priorities in creating a dementia-friendly environment in Christchurch.

Aims and objectives

  1. Raise awareness of dementia throughout Christchurch with focus on High Street and Quay areas to ensure we are inclusive of people with dementia and carers to help improve their ability to remain independent and have choice and control over their lives.
  2. Listen to those living with dementia and carers in Christchurch and surrounding areas and seek to improve the environment to help remove barriers and minimise difficulties faced.
  3. Support and encourage businesses and organisations in Christchurch to learn what it is like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action and deliver changes as part of their commitment to bring about change.
  4. Create a Dementia Friendly Community, so that people with dementia and those who care for them are encouraged to seek help and are supported by their community.
  5. Share best practice with other communities in Christchurch, especially Highcliffe to encourage wider adoption of the Dementia Friendly Communities programme.

Christchurch Dementia Action Alliance Change Group

A project steering group representing the local community has formed to move the ‘Making Christchurch Dementia-Friendly’ initiative forward and help achieve the aims and objectives for the town.

The Christchurch Dementia Action Alliance Change Group meets at least quarterly, with themed working groups held as necessary to deliver specific activities.

Projects being undertaken


Consultation with people living with Dementia and carers

  • Listen to the voice of people living with dementia and those who care for them in Christchurch to find out what makes places easier to live in to shape a more dementia friendly community and environment

Awareness raising of dementia and encouraging changes to customer care and service

  • Develop a programme of awareness raising opportunities and training to build an understanding of dementia throughout Christchurch to help improve the experiences of those living with dementia and their carers and create a dementia friendly community 

Dementia Friendly GP Surgeries  

  • Develop a package of information for GPs to include

Research into best practice

  • Consider best practice in other areas to prevent duplication and learn from other communities to help development of Christchurch DAA

Champions/ambassadors

  • Explore and develop the concept of creating champions/ambassadors for dementia/DAA within sectors  larger organisations

Safe haven environments

  • Develop the ‘Safe Haven’ concept and create confidence for  ‘staying safe’ in Christchurch for businesses, organisation and people living with dementia and their carers

Dementia Friendly Tourism

  • Raise awareness of dementia within priority sector of tourism and hospitality to Increase commitment to creating a dementia-friendly tourist town and improving the experience for people living with dementia, Carers and improve respite opportunities locally for residents and visitors

Increase marketing and communications

  • Raise awareness of Dementia-Friendly Christchurch and help reduce stigma

Achievements  

  • Awareness raising opportunities delivered including Dementia Friends through local trained champions and dementia professionals www.dementiafriends.org.uk
  • New Dementia Friends and Champions created
  • Resources to help businesses and organisations become dementia-friendly including communication, dementia friendly environments, and ‘How to help people with Dementia’ booklet
  • Adoption of coin recognition chart to aid money handling for individuals and at point of sale
  • Open day for local businesses and organisations as part of Dementia Awareness week
  • Afternoon tea for people living with Dementia and Carers
  • ‘Walk and talk’ on high streets and shopping centres

Supporters

Care South (Domiciliary Care Team)

Christchurch Angels

Christchurch Library

Highcliffe Medical Centre (Carers UK)

Stour Surgery

How to join and contact details

If you wish to join us in helping make Christchurch a Dementia Friendly Community and  improve the lives and experience of people living with Dementia and those who care for them, please pledge your support by completing and returning  your own action plan.

Contact 

Cllr Bernie Davis, cllr.bdavis@christchurch.gov.uk