Dementia Friends supporters Farnsworths newsagents, Newport. From left Sam Thomas, broadcaster John Hannam and Lu Farnsworth.
AS PART of Dementia Awareness Week, this week, Isle of Wight Council has announced support for plans to make the Island a more friendly place for the 2,500 Islanders living with the condition.
The announcement came as part of a new nationwide 'Dementia Friends' campaign, run by Public Health England and the Alzheimer's Society.
It aims to encourage people to improve their understanding of dementia, through short videos or face-to-face information sessions.
Dr Michelle Legg, clinical lead for dementia and older people at the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group said: "One in three of us over the age of 65 will develop dementia. But people with dementia can live well, and it is the responsibility of the rest of the community to help them do so."
With support from Age UK Isle of Wight and the 'My Life a Full Life' initiative — run by the Isle of Wight Council, NHS and Clinical Commissioning Council — Island businesses and organisations have already been making changes to support those suffering dementia.
Over 300 employees at Southern Vectis, the fire and rescue service, the police, and the library service have been provided with awareness training, and Southern Vectis has launched a 'Safe Journey card', which, when presented, alerts the driver to help the holder with anything they might need.
Southern Vectis travel shops in Newport and Ryde will become 'Safe Havens' - operating as a safe place people with dementia can be taken if lost or confused.
In Newport, Farnsworth newsagents became the first Isle of Wight shop to officially sign up to the National Dementia Action Alliance and is part of the Dementia Friendly community steering group.
Islanders have already been supporting the initiative in various ways. In September, as part of a challenge called 'Oar-some Memories', 12 kayakers will paddle their way around the island over the course of a week to raise awareness and funds for dementia sufferers, supporting Age UK Isle of Wight.
Public information sessions will be held later this week, from from 9am to noon on Thursday, May 22 and Friday, May 23 in the foyer of St Mary’s Hospital.
Oar-some Memories will be at Tesco, Ryde, on Thursday with a range of games, a raffle, and other activities, after spending tomorrow (Wednesday) promoting the cause on Wightlink ferries.
To find out more about becoming a Dementia Friend and support dementia friendly communities on the Isle of Wight, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Dementia Friends here.