Council committee takes part in Dementia Friends session

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Council bosses have taken part in a session learning how to help the area become more dementia friendly.

Hartlepool Council adult and community based services committee were given a ‘Dementia Friends’ talk to raise awareness and help change the way people think about the condition.

The talk was given by Caroline Ryder-Jones, from the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, who said around 1,200 people live in Hartlepool with dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends programme is an initiative to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.

The charity wants £4million to take part in the programme nationally by 2020, and so far around 2.5million have taken part, with more than 5,000 in Hartlepool.

Ms Ryder-Jones said: “A lot of stuff in the past has been quite negative around dementia, but the dialogue is changing and we are seeing more positive stories, you can see the shift.

“People with dementia want to go out and do things still and it’s important we recognise everyone’s experience is different, it can happen to people old or young.”

Council bosses praised the work being done to help people living with dementia and have vowed to continue to assist people however they can.

Coun Stephen Thomas said: “We’ve been working on a lot of things in care homes with helping people recognizing colours and patterns.

“Recently we did visits to care homes and a great example was how a typewriter was set up for a former typist with dementia, it was a great help to them, and we want to keep doing things like that.”

For more information on Dementia Friendly Hartlepool visit www.hartlepoolnow.co.uk/pages/home/dementia-friendly-hartlepool.

Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporter.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service