Staff across Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) and Eastbourne Homes Limited (EHL) have been taking part in information sessions to mark Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May).
The initiative is part of EBC and EHL’s commitment to delivering services that are designed for and accessible to people with dementia and their carers. To support this, they are running a joint six-month Dementia Friendly Services pilot focusing on housing, home visiting and living well teams (STEPS).
This week’s sessions for all staff were aimed at improving understanding of dementia and asking people to sign up to become a Dementia Friend under the Alzheimer’s Society scheme.
Dementia Friends aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action by improving the lives of the 650,000 people living with the condition in the country.
Councillor Alan Shuttleworth, Cabinet member for Direct Assistant Services, said, “It is important that people living with the condition are able to lead as normal a life as possible and are treated with dignity and respect. So many of us have family members, friends or acquaintances who are affected by dementia.
“Under the pilot, a project team has been established and I am pleased we are starting the work to make a difference by raising awareness among staff.”
Elisa Vaughan, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Sussex, said: “It’s great news that Eastbourne Borough Council and Eastbourne Homes Limited are taking these steps to try and ensure people with dementia and their carers feel more understood in their community.
“Less than half of us think we know enough about dementia. Dementia Friends isn’t about creating experts, it’s about helping people understand a little bit more about what it’s like to live with the condition and then turn that understanding into action - anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend.
“Dementia Friends is about giving people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia. From helping someone find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia, it can help make our local community a better place to live.”
To find out about becoming a Dementia Friend visit their website.
Picture: Eastbourne Borough Council staff at one of the sessions.