Buxton takes first steps to becoming a dementia-friendly town

Roy Pickles with Gill Collins. Roy, who is Vice-Chairman of the Hall Bank Trust, has been working with the University's Community Liaison department to identify a project in Buxton for older people. He is among the 19 people who have agreed to help on the steering group.
Roy Pickles with Gill Collins. Roy, who is Vice-Chairman of the Hall Bank Trust, has been working with the University's Community Liaison department to identify a project in Buxton for older people. He is among the 19 people who have agreed to help on the steering group.

Buxton has taken the first step towards becoming a dementia-friendly town.

Thirty representatives of organisations ranging from the NHS and law firms to local retailers and carers met at the University of Derby’s Buxton Campus.

The university organised the meeting after a student contacted the Alzheimer’s Society as part of her research into how tourism facilities responded to the needs of people living with dementia.

The Alzheimer Society’s East Midlands Alliance Coordinator, Gill Collins, told the meeting that becoming a dementia-friendly town could not only improve people’s quality of life, but also boost the local tourism economy and save the community money.

A steering group was formed to create a Dementia Action Alliance to promote awareness of the issue and train a local group of Dementia Friends, who could pass on an understanding of how to interact with people living with the condition.

Shops taking part could display a logo recognisable nationwide, so that visitors knew their needs would be met.

Gill said: “If they come to Buxton for a weekend they will use those shops which display our Forget Me Not logo.

“We want that to be as common as the wheelchair logo used to denote disabled access.”

And a dementia-friendly community would mean people could stay in their homes longer: “If just five per cent of admissions to residential care were delayed by one year, there would be a saving of £55 million a year across England, Wales and Northern Ireland,” said Gill.

• A fundraising event for the Alzheimer’s Society will be held at an open day at Haddon Hall Care Home, on London Road, on Saturday August 22, from 11am to 4pm. Chapel-en-le-Frith Male Voice Choir will sing from noon to 1pm and there will be a flower-arranging demonstration.

To find out more about the project, email the university’s community liaison officer, John Phillips, at j.phillips@derby.ac.uk.