Council staff aiming to become dementia friends

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West Sussex County Council staff are aiming to become dementia friends and are hoping to inspire residents to follow suit.

As one of the county’s biggest employers, the county council’s new staff initiative has been revealed around the same time as the launch of a new dementia friendly online directory in Worthing.

The website, www.dementiafriendlyworthing.org, received a grant from the Members’ Big Society Fund, to help with its development.

It is hoped that it will become a widely used community resource for residents and carers in the Worthing area alongside its social media channels – Facebook via DementiaFriendlyWorthing and Twitter @DFWorthing.

Peter Catchpole, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for adult social care and health, said: “Worthing’s Dementia Action Alliance has done such an amazing job of supporting people in the community with dementia and I am glad to say that at the council we have become a member of the Dementia Action Alliance.

“But we are not happy to rest on our laurels and as an employer we have a responsibility to support people with dementia to live active, independent lives, free of stigma and isolation. So one of our actions is for all employees to become Dementia Friends.

“This is an initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society and allows people to see dementia in a new light with a better understanding of what it is like to live with the condition. We hope that this initiative will also filter out into the community and we can one day become a dementia friendly county.”

A dementia friend is someone who learns more about what it is like to live with dementia, and then turns that understanding into action.

People can become a dementia friend online or by attending a local information session. For more information, visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk

To learn more about the Dementia Action Alliance and the county council’s action plan, visit Dementia Action Alliance website at www.dementiaaction.org.uk/members_and_action_plans/5236-west_sussex_county_council

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