A dementia friendly community is one which is inclusive of people with dementia and understands how to help them. This means creating a community which engages with people who have dementia with confidence, understanding and patience. This approach has the potential to transform many lives.
Feeling valued and a part of the community is fundamental to the ability to live well with dementia. If people around them are understanding, patient and supportive, people with dementia will be able to live independently for longer, with an improved quality of life. They will feel positive, included, empowered and engaged in the daily life that we take for granted.
They will feel safe and confident to be able to carry on doing the things they enjoy and need to do, keep in touch with friends and family and also spend time with people who feel the same.
Some practical elements of a dementia friendly community are:
- a good level of awareness so that people recognise and understand memory problems.
- clearly written information that can be easily understood by people with dementia.
- simple signposting so that people with dementia know where to go.
- support from others in similar situations, often known as peer support
- people who aren’t afraid to engage with people who show signs of dementia
Pontyberem a small Gwendraeth Valley village has been officially recognised as Carmarthenshire’s first Dementia Friendly and Supportive Community, helping people understand dementia and providing feedback on a range of topics to the county’s Dementia Action Board.