• Tue. May 28th, 2024

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Dementia Friendly Middlesbrough Praised in The Lancet

MIDDLESBROUGH’S dementia friendly campaign – which has “opened up the world again” for residents living with the condition – has been lauded in the influential medical publication The Lancet.

The article, which is titled ‘A better, fairer and safer world for people living with dementia’ features an interview with Mayor Dave Budd and concludes that “it is time for everyone, everywhere to jump on board” with Middlesbrough’s approach.

Mr Budd made a manifesto promise ahead of his election in 2015 to make Middlesbrough a Dementia Friendly community and recognition was given by the UK Alzheimer’s Society in March 2016.

In the piece Mr Budd says: “Our bus station now has a designated quiet room. Our libraries offer resources that stimulate memories. Our local art gallery, theatre, register office, football club, University, cafes and sporting venues are all getting involved. We have singing for the brain events and our local cinema screens musicals for people with dementia and their carers. They can, and do, sing along. We have an estimated audience of 200 for our Monday morning’s show and that really is a crowd.”

Peter Elliott, from Acklam, who cares for wife Teresa, said: “10 years ago there was no help available, it was devastating; but Dementia Friendly Middlesbrough has opened up the world again, we can go about town where we know there are people who understand.”

The Lancet article says there are an estimated 50 million people with dementia worldwide and that number is projected to double every 20 years.

Marc Wortman, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Disease International, advocates the same principles that exist in Middlesbrough of drawing on the strengths of the local environment and its strengths and being “about inclusion; seeing the person, not the disease”.

The piece concludes by stating: “While scientists continue to research much needed treatments and a cure for dementia, surely society can commit to understanding more about an illness that has needlessly driven so many people into social isolation at a time when they most needed to be included, accepted and respected in their communities? It is time for everyone, everywhere to jump on board.”

By admin