Council Takes Next Step in Becoming Dementia-Friendly

Bridget Hilton, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and housing committee, at the borough’s first ‘memory bench’.
Bridget Hilton, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s health and housing committee, at the borough’s first ‘memory bench’.
Published Friday, 05 January 2018

Ribble Valley Borough Council has taken the next step in its bid to become dementia-friendly.

The council’s health and housing committee has set up a working group to look at how the borough can work towards official dementia-friendly status.

The council has spearheaded a number of dementia-friendly initiatives in recent years and wants to become one of only a handful of official dementia-friendly boroughs and councils in the UK.

Bridget Hilton, chairman of the council’s health and housing committee, said: “We have made significant progress in promoting community awareness of and support for people with dementia.

“The Alzheimer’s Society has outlined a number of key steps that need to be addressed in order to become officially recognised as a dementia-friendly community, some of which are either already in place, or can be addressed through existing partnerships.

“We will be looking at what steps we need to take to progress towards formal recognition, which may include staff training, access and building layouts, and dementia-friendly signage.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Ken Hind added: ''The council has taken the lead in dementia issues for several years as a partner of the Ribble Valley Dementia Action Alliance.

“I am delighted that the alliance has recently secured recognition from the Alzheimer's Society as the borough’s principal community group on dementia issues and we look forward to working closely with the alliance, and other community partners, to improve the quality of life of dementia sufferers and their families.''

Ribble Valley Borough Council has been working with businesses, community groups and public and private sector organisations to establish the area as a hub of dementia-friendliness for several years.

The council has hosted dementia awareness sessions, developed a network of ‘dementia friends’ able to assist people with the condition and trained its reception staff in dementia awareness.

Bridget Hilton, during her mayoralty in 2015, also unveiled East Lancashire’s first ‘memory bench’ featuring soothing colours, calming words and surrounded by sensory plants noted for their aromatic and tactile properties outside the Ribble Valley Borough Council offices in Clitheroe.

Further memory benches have subsequently been placed in Waddington, Clitheroe Market and Castlegate, Clitheroe.

 

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