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Ribble Valley aims to be UK’s first dementia-friendly community

Ribble Valley Borough Council older peoples champion Sue Bibby, centre, with Carol Maher and Irene Chenery, of Chenery Maher Solicitors, launch an identity capsule scheme for dementia sufferers. Photo Neil Cross

Ribble Valley Borough Council older peoples champion Sue Bibby, centre, with Carol Maher and Irene Chenery, of Chenery Maher Solicitors, launch an identity capsule scheme for dementia sufferers. Photo Neil Cross

Ribble Valley Borough Council has joined forces with Clitheroe solicitors Chenery Maher to launch an identity capsule scheme for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The capsules, which contain crucial information on the bearer, including the contact details of carers or next of kin, are available free of charge to those with dementia and their families.

It is the latest initiative in the borough’s bid to become the country’s first dementia-friendly community.

Ribble Valley Borough Council has joined forces with the Alzheimer’s Society and local businesses, community groups and public and private sector organisations to establish the borough as a centre of excellence in dementia awareness.

A network of “dementia friends” has been established throughout the borough and council staff are to receive training in dementia awareness.

Ribble Valley Borough Council’s older people’s champion, Sue Bibby, said: “Dementia sufferers face barriers when trying to continue with ordinary life, such as shopping, using public transport and engaging in social activities, and it is likely many do not even go out for fear of not being able to cope.

“We have been gathering evidence from people with dementia and their carers about what might help them enjoy a better quality of life, with a view to creating a network of places and organisations that are dementia friendly and educating the public to understand and deal with dementia more effectively

“There is clearly a considerable local appetite for making life easier for dementia sufferers and their families, and we are delighted to have worked in partnership in Chenery Maher to make these identity capsules available.”

Dementia describes different disorders that trigger a loss of brain function, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 62% of sufferers. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. Dementia can occur at any age, but the elderly are particularly susceptible.

Irene Chenery, a partner at Chenery Maher, which specialises in law for the elderly, added: “In public situations, people with dementia may exhibit a range of difficulties, such as remembering what they are doing, communicating clearly, handling money and navigating confusing environments. We are delighted to have worked with Ribble Valley Borough Council to make these identity capsules available.”

Sue and Irene launched the capsules at the start of Dementia Awareness Week, which sees dementia awareness and fund-raising events taking place across the UK.

The capsules are available From David Ingham, Ribble Valley Borough Council’s partnership officer, on 01200 414549.

The borough council will host a dementia awareness session next Tuesday, June 3rd, from 10 am to noon in the Ribble Valley Borough Council Chamber in Church Street, Clitheroe.

The session, for the families and carers of dementia sufferers, aims to raise awareness of the signs, symptoms, concerns and implications of dementia. It will include a talk by UK dementia expert Pat Pope, of training company All about Dementia.

 

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