Worcester recognised for efforts to be dementia-friendly

The Alzheimer’s Society has formally recognised the city’s efforts to help people living with dementia to have independent, fulfilled lives.  The Society has designated Worcester as a place ‘which is working to become dementia-friendly.’ 


Based on current figures, it is estimated that at least 1,725 Worcester residents will have been diagnosed as living with dementia by 2030 (Source:  Institute of Public Care).


Worcester Dementia Action Alliance, which comprises representatives from local businesses, dementia carers, health workers and councillors, received the designation. 


“We now have wide-spread acknowledgement across a range of organisations that we need to act now to ensure Worcester is a welcoming place both for the steadily rising number of people who are living with dementia, and those who care for them,” says Cllr Lynn Denham, Chair of the Worcester Dementia Action Alliance.


“The Alzeheimer Society’s endorsement demonstrates that we have made progress and are moving in the right direction.”


The Alliance is taking action in the following areas:


Transport:  regular liaison with local providers and the Worcester taxi forum

Businesses:  Exploring and sharing good practices for helping people with dementia in local banks

Recreation and leisure:  increasing the number of opportunities for people living with dementia to take part in cultural and leisure activities

Housing:  improving dementia training for social and shared housing providers

Health, emergency and social care:  increasing GP and hospital staff’s awareness of dementia-friendly support services

Community and faith groups:  recruiting more ‘dementia friends’ across a range of faith and voluntary groups

Children and young people:  supporting schools and youth clubs to increase awareness of dementia


“It is fantastic to see the work that Worcester Dementia Action Alliance has carried out so far in raising awareness with local businesses, speaking to local people affected by dementia, and inspiring people to take action to make the city more dementia-friendly,” says Kat Horner, Communities Officer at the West Midlands branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.


“Their recognition as working to become a Dementia Friendly Community is well deserved, and I look forward to seeing this work grow and develop.”


Last week, Worcester City Council and its partners received a national innovation award for introducing a Dementia Dwelling grant – the first of its kind in the UK.  Grants of up to £750 are available to help residents living with dementia to manage their home surroundings.  This could be the use of colour and contrast to aid orientation in the home, to bespoke products such as dementia clocks, or items which will help a carer to support the person living with dementia.


Any local organisation or group can join the Dementia Action Alliance by simply committing to  three actions to make their service or premises more dementia-friendly.  For example, Worcester Warriors Rugby Club invites people living with dementia and their carers to attend specific match days, where support is offered to them and a respite area is available for carers. 


To find out more about the Alliance, contact Remya Rajendren – tel. 01905 721143 or email remya.rajendren@worcester.gov.uk

Sarah Dawes