The Croydon Dementia Action Alliance’s (CDAA) work to make the borough inclusive for people living with dementia has received high praise for a second year from the Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading dementia charity.
Special cinema screenings for people living with dementia and awareness sessions about the condition attended by a wide range of the community including the police, fire and ambulance services and children and young people have helped Croydon’s work to be top-rated.
Alzheimer’s Society monitors the progress made by organisations helping to raise awareness about dementia for them to retain the status of its highest accolade of Working To Become Dementia Friendly.
The CDAA includes Croydon Council, the local NHS, emergency services, the voluntary sector, care homes and more organisations encouraging their employees to become a Dementia Friend and support those living with dementia, as well as CDAA members hosting borough-wide events.
Croydon Council now commissions all services with dementia in mind, which includes a checklist to ensure service providers, and their staff, understand and can address the needs of people living with dementia in the borough. The council offers additional training where required, using the Dementia Training Standards Framework and encourages these services to join the CDAA.
This builds on work that has contributed to the Alzheimer Society’s award, including:
- More than 400 local Metropolitan Police officers, over 1,000 council staff and all those working at council leisure centres and libraries becoming Dementia Friends.
- The David Lean Cinema showing popular dementia-friendly films, with plans next year to show more culturally diverse genres to appeal to more people.
- A dementia café opening in Thornton Heath and regular tea dances organised for people with dementia in Croydon’s Braithwaite Hall, located in the Town Hall.
- Awareness sessions with children and young people at The Brit School, Shirley High School, Croydon College, and the 17th Purley Beavers Scout Group.
- GPs, NHS staff and community and voluntary sector groups receiving targeted training.
- A comprehensive list of events and activities available for people living with dementia in Croydon.
“We are delighted that Croydon’s dementia-friendly work is still top-rated by the Alzheimer’s Society. There are around 3,600 residents living with dementia in Croydon
and the majority of them live in their own homes. Although the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance has a strong membership, we still aim for more organisations to get involved and make Croydon more welcoming and inclusive for people living with dementia, their families and carers.”
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care
Mark Edwards, station commander at Norbury Fire Station, said: “We are currently training all operational staff in the borough to be Dementia Friends. We have four watches and five stations with approximately 260 personnel. We have so far trained nearly half of our personnel and we plan for everyone to be a Dementia Friend by the end of the financial year.”
Linda O’Sullivan, Head of Region, London and South East at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are so pleased to see such a hard-working Dementia Friendly Community receive this recognition. What has been achieved by the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance is exemplar for ensuring dementia awareness reaches all their staff and the wider community. Ensuring that people with dementia have access to services and amenities is hugely important and this Dementia Friendly Community is finding creative ways to help make sure that life doesn’t end after a diagnosis. Well done Croydon!”