The Life Changes Trust has doubled its national investment in communities that are dementia friendly, with a second wave of funding to the sum of £2.5 million. This brings their total investment to £5 million in the last three years.
Communities that are inclusive and dementia friendly play a crucial role in ensuring that people with dementia, carers and family members are supported after a diagnosis of dementia.
These communities provide a structure and culture that make it possible for people affected by dementia to do things that matter to them, remain integrated and active in their own communities and participate in decisions that affect their day-to-day lives.
In 2015, the Life Changes Trust initially funded 12 dementia friendly communities over three years. These have developed and grown, creating among them a further 82 new communities. To date, more than 3,400 people with dementia and 2,000 carers have directly benefited from being part of a dementia friendly community.
This new investment of £2.5million will support 14 new communities, as well as providing some longer term support for previously funded communities.
Scotland is leading the way in understanding how communities that are dementia friendly work best. As well as providing information, support and opportunities, they draw on the abilities that people with dementia still have so they can contribute to their communities.
Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust dementia programme said, “The solution to getting it right for people with dementia lies with communities, and the relationships within them.
Communities come in all shapes and sizes but any community can become dementia friendly if it follows some basic principles. These principles include focusing more on what people with dementia can do rather than what they can’t, and enabling them to do what really matters to them. We need many more communities across Scotland to take this approach so they can support people after a dementia diagnosis and make sure they do not become isolated and lonely.”