Published on Oct 13, 2014
Businesses in Grimsby and Cleethorpes are being called upon to join a national movement that will work towards becoming a dementia-friendly community.
Local Dementia Action Alliances are being formed across the country to help people to live well with dementia, and now North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Alzheimer’s Society are launching one in North East Lincolnshire.
Members of the Alliance will become Dementia Friends and learn more about the condition and how it affects someone’s everyday life, so they can offer support to people with dementia when they need it.
An event, It’s Still Me, is taking place on Wednesday 29th October at The Cromwell Banqueting Hall in Cleethorpes from 2pm until 4pm. Organisations that are interested in the Alliance can speak to some of the 15 businesses that have already signed up and find out what it means to be a member.
Dr Karin Severin, clinical lead for older people from North East Lincolnshire CCG, said: “There are an estimated 2,000 people in Grimsby and Cleethorpes living with dementia and the Alliance is just one way we are helping to make our area more dementia friendly.
“The MyLife portal launched earlier this year is a central resource of support services, advice and information for families and carers of people living with dementia. If local businesses join the Alliance more people will have that bit of extra understanding that will make a huge difference to their lives.
“We want to create a community where people living with the condition can be comfortable and confident using bus services and visiting the shops or the post office, and their families and carers have that little bit of extra support too,” she said.
Emily Cross, Services Manager for Alzheimer’s Society (North and North East Lincolnshire), also commented.
“We’re really excited about this event; it’s a great opportunity for businesses who are interested in the Dementia Action Alliance to come and talk to others that have already got involved. Fifteen organisations have already signed up and have learnt that dementia doesn’t only affect memory, it affects vision, reasoning and logic. For instance, paying for something at a till can be more difficult for someone living with dementia as they might get 20 pence and 20 pounds mixed up.
“It’s quite an informal event and anyone is welcome to come along. If more businesses sign up to be part of the alliance it could be quite powerful and really change people’s lives,” she added.
Freshney Place is a member of the alliance and all staff have taken part in the Dementia Friends training. Matt Lundie, Customer Service and Security Manager of Freshney Place Shopping Centre said: “At Freshney Place we’re constantly challenging the way that we operate, aiming to improve our facilities and provide a better service to our customers. With such a high proportion of people with dementia in our local area, I feel it is a duty of all employers that come in to contact with customers to understand their customer’s wants and needs and be able to care for them in the best possible way.
“As a way of showing our commitment to the local community we joined the Dementia Action Alliance and pledged that we will continue to work with others to create a dementia friendly community within Grimsby.
“Since making this pledge all staff members have received dementia friends training which was provided by the Alzheimer’s Society, this has given staff an understanding of dementia and how we can care for customers. This training has already proved valuable in the re-uniting of numerous lost people that suffer with dementia within our shopping centre.
“I urge any business that hasn’t already pledged a commitment to the local community and joined the Dementia Action Alliance to join. Together we can make a dementia-friendly Grimsby.”