Wolverhampton has again been recognised as working towards being a dementia friendly city – demonstrating that organisations are working together to make people living with the condition feel better understood, respected and supported.
The Alzheimer’s Society has granted Wolverhampton Dementia Friendly Community Status for the fifth year running after recognising the work taking place to improve services for people living with dementia, and their families and carers.
The charity defines a Dementia Friendly Community as one where people living with dementia feel included and involved, have choice and control over their daily lives and are supported to contribute to the local community. It is also a place where other people are aware of dementia and understand the needs of people living with the condition.
Awarding Wolverhampton Dementia Friendly Community Status for 2022-23, the Alzheimer’s Society noted a number of achievements over the last 12 months, including the provision of specialist dementia training for professionals and other stakeholders, the continuation of virtual support sessions during the Covid-19 pandemic and the completion of a wide-ranging consultation exercise to understand how services were affected by coronavirus, and what is now available post-pandemic.
More dementia cafes have opened – including the new Memory Cafe in Bilston which meets for the next time tomorrow (Tuesday 8 November) at Bilston Sports and Social Club, Wellington Road, from noon-2pm. The various cafes operating across the city are now regularly attended by over 150 people living with dementia, family members and carers.
Work continues to improve access to services and to enable even better diagnosis of dementia by GPs; data released earlier this year found that diagnosis rates for dementia in Wolverhampton are now well above both the local and national average, meaning people living with the condition in the city are able to get the help and support they need more quickly.
Meanwhile the city’s current Dementia Strategy, for 2019-24, has been reviewed to ensure its aims remain valid, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jon Crockett, Chair of Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, a partnership of dozens of local organisations which are working to become more dementia friendly, said: “This recognises the dedication and commitment of all the organisations, communities and individuals who have worked so hard over the last 12 months to help support those living with dementia, their carers and families.
“Wolverhampton has for some years been at the forefront of developing and delivering dementia friendly communities. We have done much, but there is still much more that we can and must do to make Wolverhampton a Dementia Friendly Community we can all be proud of.”
Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services, added: “We and our partners are determined to do all we can to improve the lives of people living with dementia, and the lives of their families and carers, by making Wolverhampton as dementia friendly as possible.
“We are pleased that the Alzheimer’s Society has once again recognised our city to be a Dementia Friendly Community, which has been achieved this thanks to the hard work and help and support of individuals and local organisations in what have been particularly trying circumstances over the last couple of years.
“But we want to go further, and I would encourage any organisation that wants to improve the help and support it offers to people living with dementia to become a member of the Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance so that, together, we can become even more dementia friendly.”
People who are worried about dementia can contact the Alzheimer’s Society for information and support either via the Dementia Connect Helpline on 0333 150 3456 or by visiting www.alzheimers.org.uk. For more information about the help and support available locally, and to see the Wolverhampton Dementia Strategy 2019-24, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/dementia.
For more details of Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, please visit www.dementiaaction.org.uk. To join Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, organisations are asked to contact [email protected].