Bolton residents are being asked to join in the commitment to improving life for those with dementia as part of Dementia Awareness Week (May 15-21).
Bolton Council and health partners are appealing for various organisations, businesses, community groups and individuals to pledge their support to the Bolton Dementia Action Alliance (DAA).
The call for action to join the DAA follows a successful pilot in Horwich which saw the formation of the first dementia friendly community in Bolton, launched by Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Safeguarding and Adult Social Care, Cllr Asif Ibrahim.
In February, 40 businesses in Horwich – including Greenhalgh’s bakery, NatWest bank and Fine Yarns – pledged their support to become dementia friendly and 32 have already launched their plans, with the rest soon to follow.
The council is looking at how the scheme can be extended throughout the borough and has also trained more than 150 staff members as dementia friends, including those at Bolton Market and in the borough’s libraries, with plans to roll out training to more staff and other organisations.
Those who join the DAA will be required to commit to action plans that demonstrate practical changes aimed at enhancing the quality of life experienced by people with dementia and their carers, and ultimately reduce the rising cost of treating the condition.
In return, members may receive accreditation for becoming dementia friendly; get the chance to work with other like-minded organisations; improve their customer service experience; and benefit from a dedicated support network.
Nationally, the number of people living with dementia is rising all the time with more people living longer. But with reducing budgets, each authority must find new and innovative ways of dealing with the demand for health and social care services.
In Bolton the number of people aged 65 and over with dementia is expected to grow from 3,093 in 2015 to 4,203 in 2025.
Following Greater Manchester’s historic health and social care devolution agreement, improving dementia care and support has been identified as a priority. The scheme Dementia United has been tasked with leading this transformation, involving all 10 GM authorities and health providers.
The aim is to make Greater Manchester the best place to live in the world for people with dementia, and their carers, by 2020.
The Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “The number of people living with dementia will continue to rise and we are committed to doing all we can to help prevent and treat this condition. Improving the lives of people living with dementia is a priority for all local authorities in Greater Manchester and in Bolton we want organisations, businesses, community groups and individuals to step up and join us in making dementia care the best we can. It is crucial that we work together as a community to ensure that people with dementia are supported to continue to live well.”
Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “With more and more Bolton residents likely to develop dementia in the coming years it is vitally important that we think now about what additional support we can provide. This isn’t just about healthcare, it’s also a question of how we help people with the everyday challenges they face. The new Bolton Dementia Action Alliance will be a great asset for our borough. I look forward to the development of more dementia friendly communities in the coming years.”
Source: Bolton Council