Glasgow is aiming to become a friendly city as part of a new strategy to support people with dementia to live well with the condition in the community.
Created through a collaboration between Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and Alzheimer Scotland, the new, three-year strategy outlines a range of commitments designed to improve health and social care services for people with dementia in Glasgow.
The new strategy was launched on May 31 in Silverburn Shopping Centre, which itself is aiming to become Scotland's first ever dementia-friendly shopping centre.
With the number of people with dementia predicted to double in the next 25-years, the strategy intends to ensure this growing phenomena can be met with improved access to information, support, care and treatment.
One of the main themes of the strategy is to encourage and develop resilience within communities so that the impact of dementia is recognised throughout all walks of life, whether that be a large organisation, a local service, a shop, a business, a neighbour or a friend.
The intention is to create the kind of capacity in the community that will enable people with dementia to enjoy the best quality of life possible and to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of the Glasgow HSCP, said: "Dementia is a growing issue that we can ill-afford to ignore. By putting in place longer-term strategies now, we can begin to build the kind of wide-ranging response we need to address the issue of dementia in future.
"Health and social care services have a vital role to play in making sure families have access to the best treatment and support there is available. But if we are to avoid people with dementia being disadvantaged even further as they go about their daily lives, then all sectors of society must play a part also.
"This is why I am so encouraged by Silverburn taking on board the need for us all to be more responsive to those affected by dementia. Silverburn's aspiration for their staff and the centre environment to be dementia friendly is something I hope will be replicated across the city in the years ahead. Our hope is that all Glaswegians recognise they can do their bit to help our city become dementia friendly."
Alzheimer Scotland will be working closely with Silverburn over the next three years as the centre seeks to become a dementia-friendly community. This will involve staff training to raise awareness of the needs of those with dementia, but also addressing environmental issues such as lighting, signage and the use of colour.
Other companies within the Silverburn complex have already started to get involved in the dementia friendly scheme and it is hoped that this process will be repeated with organisations, businesses or communities across Glasgow to see what can realistically be achieved to make their environments as dementia friendly as possible.
Jim Pearson, Director of Policy & Research, Alzheimer Scotland, said:"I am delighted to welcome this new dementia strategy for Glasgow which has been developed by Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (GCHSPC) in collaboration with ourselves and co-produced with people with dementia, their families, carers and a wide range of stakeholders. The strategy provides a framework for action for the whole community and I look forward to seeing positive advances across the city over the next three years.
"There are 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and the number is on the rise. If you have any questions about dementia and of the services available in Scotland call Alzheimer Scotland's 24 Helpline on 0808 808 3000."
David Pierotti, General Manager at Silverburn added: "Silverburn is committed to becoming a dementia friendly shopping centre to ensure that we're equipped to welcome all of our shoppers. We are proud to be a part of the local community and we will look forward to enhancing our facilities to keep Silverburn the region's leading shopping, dining and leisure destination."
Dementia is a progressive illness caused by damage to and destruction of brain cells which gives rise to a number of symptoms including the gradual loss of memory, reasoning and communication skills. There are different types of dementia with the most common being Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
Around 4,500 people are currently known to be living in Glasgow with a diagnosis of dementia, although research suggests the true number of people with dementia in Glasgow is around 8,000. Each year around 800 people in the city receive a diagnosis of dementia.
Alzheimer Scotland is Scotland's leading dementia organisation, providing care, activities, support, information and advice to people with dementia, their carers and their families. The charity aims to improve public policies relating to dementia and be a voice for the 90,000 people in Scotland currently living with dementia. For further information on Alzheimer Scotland visit www.alzscot.org.