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Borough of Poole Supports Dementia Awareness Week

Events will be taking place across Poole in support of Dementia Awareness Week, which runs until 23 May 2014.

Organised by the Poole Dementia Action Group (PDAG), the events will provide residents with a wealth of information as Poole makes its first steps to becoming an official dementia friendly community.

A Dementia Support Worker will be on hand at Poole Central Library on Wednesday 21 May, providing support and information to anyone dealing with dementia, along with a display of resources that can be accessed by people with dementia and their family or carers.

Information stands will also be at the Dolphin Centre and Sainsbury’s in Poole town centre on Thursday 22 May, with both stands featuring a special memory tree where people will be able to attach a label in memory of somebody they know who is suffering from or who they have lost to dementia. Free forget-me-not seeds and balloons will be handed out, and volunteers will be asking members of the public for feedback on their experiences of using the high street facilities and services, as the group works to improve these to aid those suffering from dementia. 

In one of his first engagements since taking office, The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Peter Adams will be making a visit to the Dolphin Centre at 12pm on Thursday 22 May to assist with the cutting of a specially-made forget me not cake to celebrate the launch of the Poole Dementia Action Group. He will also be visiting staff at the Sainsbury’s stand, to find out more about the work they are doing during Dementia Awareness Week.

Cllr Peter Adams, said: “Most of us will know a friend or relative suffering from dementia. I strongly support the Action Week activities which are intended to raise awareness of this terrible disease and highlight how even everyday tasks like visiting the high street can be confusing and frightening for people with dementia.”

Cllr Chris Wilson, Borough of Poole’s Dementia Champion, added: “Our Poole Dementia Action Group has already achieved a number of important goals since it was formed last year, and we hope that next week’s events will go even further towards helping us to our goal of being officially recognised as a dementia friendly community.”

A Dementia Friendly Community is one where people with dementia are enabled to live as independently as possible and to continue to be part of their community, and, at the same time, are met with understanding and given support when they need it.

Cllr Karen Rampton, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, Borough of Poole, said: "The number of people with dementia in the UK is steadily rising, making it increasingly important for us to understand how best to support our residents and their family and carers. Anyone wanting to find out more about the measures being put in place, or what help is available to them or their loved ones, should visit one of our stands next week to find out more."

The Poole Dementia Action Group’s key objective is to make Poole High Street dementia friendly. The group is an official Dementia Action Alliance, formed from local organisations who have signed up to the National Dementia Declaration Action Plan - the Borough was one of the first councils in the south west to complete an action plan of this nature.

The group has already gained recognition from the national Dementia Action Alliance, enabling them to use the official forget me not emblem. Stickers featuring the emblem will be given to retailers and other businesses that undertake an awareness session and/or Dementia Friends training, and which complete and sign an action plan outlining how they will support and improve services for people with dementia and their carers. A specially-designed guide providing advice on how to help customers with dementia and memory problems has also already been distributed to over 200 shops and businesses across Poole.