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News

Businesses helping make Carrickfergus a Dementia Friendly town

Monday 10 September 2018

Businesses in Carrickfergus are being invited to help make the town dementia-friendly.

Businesses helping make Carrickfergus a Dementia Friendly town

Service providers are being urged to support the scheme being rolled out by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council alongside the Alzheimer’s society.

A dementia-friendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported.

In a dementia-friendly community, people will be aware of and understand dementia so that people with dementia can continue to live in the way they want to and in the community they choose.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Lindsay Millar said: “Dementia-friendly communities are vital in helping people live well with dementia and remain a part of their community. We have already had success in Larne with a number of businesses taking part in training and the feedback was overwhelming. We are now rolling the scheme out to Carrickfergus and hoping to extend that to Ballymena in the next year.

“Council is fully committed to ensuring our older generations are welcomed, supported and respected. With an ageing population, our community plan outlines ways to ensure that services reflect this and this initiative is truly putting people first by educating everyone about Dementia.

“A number of businesses have already attended training sessions held at Carrickfergus Town Hall earlier this year. I would encourage all the businesses in the town to get behind this scheme and take up the training opportunities we are rolling out alongside our charity partners.”

The training gives an idea of what it is like to live with dementia. It encourages simple changes like being more patient, what signs to look out for and what different surrounding can trigger for someone with dementia.

Heather Lundy, Dementia Friendly Communities Manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Northern Ireland, said: “Alzheimer’s Society is delighted to be working with Mid and East Antrim Council to encourage businesses in Carrickfergus to work towards becoming dementia friendly.

“A report we commissioned, ‘Building Dementia Friendly Communities: A priority for everyone’, revealed less than half of people living with dementia feel a part of the community.

“Becoming a dementia-friendly community doesn't always mean a big investment. Often it is just about communities assessing the way they deliver services and changing the way they respond.

“There are over 350 dementia friendly communities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland where local businesses are committed to supporting their customers and employees affected by dementia. From the taxi driver to the hairdresser and the bus company to the newsagent, everyone can identify things they can do to support people with dementia to continue to do the things they want to.”

To date over 270 people from more than 100 businesses and organisations have attended dementia-friendly training workshops.

Lisa Soutar, chairperson of the Carrickfergus Town Centre Partnership said: “I am proud to say I completed my dementia friendly community training in July. It was an informal evening where we heard from inspirational guest speakers who have faced challenges in relation to their dementia.

“The short interactive workshop was insightful, informative and has definitely made me more aware of the challenges faced by many. I would really encourage other local businesses to get on board and help make the town dementia friendly.”

The training is FREE and will take place at Carrickfergus Town Hall on Tuesday 18 September 2018 6-8pm.

Booking is essential and to secure your space contact:

T: 028 25 633206 or
E: communityplanning@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

For more information go to our Community Planning pages.

Image: Julie Morton from Alzheimer’s Society NI, Lisa Soutar Carrickfergus Town Centre Partnership, Mayor Lindsay Millar and Sean Heron from Alzheimer’s Society NI launching the training sessions for businesses in Carrickfergus.