Developing dementia-friendly communities

Posted under Blog on February 26th, 2013 by Editorial Team / No Comments

This week the BBC reported on the city of Bruges, in Belgium and its work to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers.

There are 2,000 people in Bruges living with dementia, two-thirds of whom live in the community, so the city is going to great lengths to ensure that those people can live a life as close to normal as possible.

In 2012, the city won an award from the European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia for its campaign Together for a dementia-friendly Bruges!, which aimed at fighting the stigma associated with dementia by involving the whole community and encouraging respect and tolerance for those with the condition.

Bruges pays special attention to supporting families and carers as well as patients. Some of the novel approaches Bruges has taken include:

· Signs displayed in shop windows to show that they are safe havens for people with dementia and that staff are ready to help those who may need it.

· Specialist dementia counsellors providing practical support for those with dementia, and therapy for their carers.

· A dementia choir of patients and carers which meets regularly to practice songs and tunes that they hope will stir memories that may have been lost.

The local police have also got involved, most recently developing a database of vulnerable citizens and their details including previous home and work addresses along with other relevant information that may save time in finding a person if they go missing.

The UK is taking inspiration from Bruges by looking to copy some of its support schemes but, more importantly, improve its attitude towards helping people with dementia. The UK Alzheimer’s Society and British Prime Minister David Cameron have both launched campaigns which aim to create dementia friendly cities and towns across the UK.

With an estimated 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia and numbers rising each year, ways of dealing with the condition in a compassionate and caring manner have become even more important.

Tags: Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's society, BBC, dementia initiative



Browse Categories
(Click to expand)

(Click to expand)


Alzheimers cocoa eye test Google Glass Harvard pressure sensor Seattle Stanford vampire mice Vitamin E