A suburb of Leeds is bidding to become the first dementia friendly area of Leeds as a new report by the Alzheimer’s Society lays bare the often grim reality of life with the disease.
According to new research published by the charity today, thousands of people suffering from dementia have become prisoners in their own homes, with 28 per cent of those polled admitting they had given up leaving their homes altogether.
In the wake of the report, the Alzheimer’s Society has now launched a campaign to build what it calls to ‘dementia friendly communities’ and points to work already underway in Rothwell, Leeds as the kind it wants to see replicated across the country.
The initiative has been spearheaded by Peter Smith, whose mother, Phyllis was diagnosed with dementia. Following her death in 2004, Peter pledged to raise awareness of the condition and two years ago launched the Tea Cosy Memory Cafe as a meeting place for sufferers and their carers.
“Almost 100 people now regularly meet up, so it’s been a huge success,” said Mr Smith. “I also run fortnightly reminiscence sessions, have arranged dementia orientated church services and am working with a number of companies and organisations to raise awareness of the needs of dementia sufferers.
“Rothwell is a very close-knit community which is ideal to begin the process of building a dementia friendly community. Starting in these small communities works because the people with dementia who live here are well know to local businesses which helps the person to remain independent longer and stay part of the community.”
To find out more about the campaign go to www.alzheimers.org.uk/buildingdfcs