Woodbridge vows to become dementia friendly town
PUBLISHED: 08:58 24 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:58 24 July 2019
Picture: GEMMA JARVIS
The project aims to halt shocking rates of loneliness for those living with the condition and also help their families.
Woodbridge Town Council gathered this week at Shire Hall to attend a training workshop in their bid to become a dementia friendly town - highlighting awareness and installing simple changes around the town to encourage and support people living with dementia.
Cathy O'Brien, deputy head of care for The Seckford Foundation, explained how to help and improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer's and dementia.
Simple things like replacing dark coloured doormats in shops and public places with lighter and brighter colours, as those with dementia can mistake them for a hole in the ground and be fearful of falling through, are among simple and effective changes that can be made.
One initiative highlighted was a fish supper evening held by The Cherry Tree pub in Woodbridge in aid of the Meet Up Monday's initiative, a campaign that began in January 2018 to battle loneliness by offering people a place to go to meet other people.
Co-owner of the pub, James Buckingham, who along with his staff has undertaken the training and are able to spot the signs and offer assistance, if needed, said: "Because we have the care home just literally round the corner, the residents come down on their own and sit and chat to everyone."
This is something that the town council hopes to increase and will persuade more businesses and public dwellings to follow suit.
The evening raised £317 in aid of The Alzheimer's Society.
Ms O'Brien told the training session: "If that customer forgets to pay, the staff will be sensitive to that and more likely to notice that something is wrong. So a local business or establishment, knowing that they have people who come regularly, making an effort to talk to those people, can provide invaluable help."
The Riverside cinema has also adopted a dementia friendly screening service at their film theatre where there are no adverts, the volume is lower and the lights are brighter.
Figures released from the Alzheimer's Society show that 12,000 people in East Suffolk suffer from the brain disease and 40% of those people feel isolated from their local community.
With Woodbridge trying their best to become 'Dementia Friendly', there's hope that these statistics will become a thing of the past.
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