New partnership to drive efforts to make Richmond ‘Dementia Friendly’

Age UK Richmond has been commissioned by Richmond Council to support the borough’s efforts to become ‘Dementia Friendly’ and is encouraging anyone affected by dementia, or organisations and businesses who are keen to become more dementia friendly, to sign up to the Dementia Friendly initiative.  

A Dementia Friendly borough is an inclusive place where all residents affected by dementia are empowered and supported to live well. It helps support those with dementia and their carers to:  

  • Travel to where they want to go safely  
  • Live somewhere they feel supported, understood and included in community life  
  • Receive the help they need to access quality health, care and support services when and where they require it  
  • Be able to participate in all that Richmond upon Thames has to offer in arts, culture and leisure  
  • Feel confident to visit local high streets and town centres.  

In 2014 Richmond Council successfully launched the Dementia Action Alliance (RDAA). The partnership boasted over 100 members including voluntary organisations, private companies, community interest groups, GP surgeries, hospitals and the emergency services.  

Since then, there have been huge strides in making the borough ‘Dementia Friendly’, including the recruitment of the borough’s first Dementia Champion. 

The Dementia Friendly Communities Richmond programme is replacing the RDAA, and over the next 2 years Age UK Richmond will work with the Council to further improve the lives of residents with Dementia and their families. 

The first meeting of Dementia Friendly Communities Richmond members and potential members will be hosted online on Monday May 17, 2021, 2.00pm – 3.00pm. 

Contact Sara Wilcox on sara.wilcox@ageukrichmond.org.uk or 0203 816 0020 to sign up or to find out more about Dementia Friendly Communities. 

Shannon Katiyo, Richmond Council’s Director of Public Health, said: 

There are approximately 1,500 people who have been diagnosed with dementia in Richmond upon Thames and this figure will increase in line with the local ageing population.  

“The Dementia Friendly programme will be instrumental in ensuring we improve and develop services to support all those affected by the disease – including carers and families. 

“We are thrilled to be working with Age UK Richmond to continue to improve the understanding of dementia across the borough.” 

 Rob Burton, Chief Executive Officer at Age UK Richmond, said:  

“The word dementia can strike fear into people. If Richmond can continue to work towards being a Dementia Friendly borough, it shows people that there is a tremendous amount of support to help people continue to lead a fulfilling life, for many years after a diagnosis.  

“Given two-thirds of people living with dementia live in their local community, it is crucial we are ambitious for Richmond upon Thames and create an inclusive and supportive environment. We are delighted to now be working with Richmond Council on this important piece of work.” 

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