Powys County Council has taken steps to improve the lives of local people with dementia by passing a motion to make the county of Powys more ‘dementia friendly’.
According to Alzheimer’s Society a dementia friendly community is a place where people with dementia are understood, respected, supported, and confident they can contribute to community life.
On Wednesday 22nd October, Powys County Council pledged to work towards making the county a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’, a status officially endorsed by Alzheimer’s Society. The Council also agreed to create and appoint an elected member to the position of ‘Dementia Champion’ and appoint a lead officer for dementia.
County Councillor Paul Ashton, the councillor who proposed the motion said: ‘There are over 2,300 people living with dementia in Powys. We are keen to do all we can to support those living with the condition, and their families. By making this pledge we are committing to work jointly with partners from the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors to develop and improve services for people living with dementia and their carers.
‘We also want to improve knowledge and understanding of dementia by committing councillors and council staff, as well as encouraging local residents, to become ‘Dementia Friends’, through the Dementia Friends programme run by Alzheimer’s Society.’
A Dementia Friend is someone who attends a 45 minute information session and learns more about what it is like to live with dementia. They commit to turning that understanding into action, by helping people with dementia feel included in their community.
Sue Phelps, Director of Alzheimer’s Society in Wales said: ‘The motion passed by Powys County Council supports Alzheimer’s Society’s drive to encourage communities, businesses and other organisations to work towards becoming more dementia-friendly and help to create better environments for people to live well with dementia for as long as possible.
‘We are delighted that Powys County Council have made this commitment and hope that others across the country will follow in their footsteps to support local people living with dementia. It’s a priority for us all to act now to make changes that will empower people with dementia and help them live well in their communities.’