The Department of Health releases new 'Dementia Atlas'
The new interactive ‘Dementia Atlas’ published by the Department of Health on Tuesday of last week highlights the importance of developing projects, such as the Dementia Friends initiative which is being supported by Somerset Community Foundation with a grant of £15k over 3 years. The new atlas has five different categories for how good an area is for dementia patients, including prevention, diagnosis and support as well as “living well” and “dying well”. It shines a spotlight on areas where there is still work to be done, whilst highlighting best practice.
The atlas shows which areas of England are dementia-friendly communities - places that have taken steps to make life easier for people with dementia and their carers. Whilst much of West Midlands and Yorkshire are now dementia-friendly many other regions north and south of these areas are not and we have a duty to change that. The first step involved educating people and breaking down stigma.
Dementia Friends, an Alzheimer's Society initiative, is a social movement aimed at giving people across England a greater understanding of dementia and the small things they can do to make a real difference to people living with the condition. It is so important that everyone affected by the condition is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
At SCF, we recognise the vital role of voluntary organisations in ensuring the success of the Dementia Friends initiative and that is why we were delighted earlier this year to be able to provide funding over three years to support an initiative to make communities in Somerset more dementia friendly. You can find out more about our support of the Dementia Action Alliance here. We will also be providing training this autumn for our staff and volunteers so that Somerset Community Foundation can become a dementia friendly organisation too, and spread the word about becoming a Dementia friend from our own experience.