Woking has been recognised as a Dementia Friendly Community, the first in Surrey, by the Alzheimer’s Society.
A Dementia Friendly Community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected, supported, and confident they can contribute to community life. Before becoming a dementia friendly community, Woking created a Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) with local organisations.
Established in autumn 2017, Woking’s DAA has a broad range of members from statutory agencies, such as Woking Borough Council, voluntary organisations, community and faith groups, as well as retailers, theatre and cinema complex and banks.
Since it was established, Woking’s DAA has arranged a series of free dementia awareness sessions for members of the public, recruited six volunteer Dementia Champions, organised Dementia Friends sessions at Shah Jahan Mosque and local community groups, as well as providing dementia awareness training for DDA partners.
In addition, Woking Borough Council has introduced a raft of new services, which complement existing services, to support residents with dementia.
- Dementia Handyperson Scheme - installs assistance equipment around the home free of charge, such as colour contrast grab rails and toilet seats, to support people wishing to live independently at home.
- Palliative Grant Scheme (in partnership with Woking Hospice) - assist those nearing the end of their life with emergency home adaptations enabling patients to return to the comfort of their own home.
- Fall Responder Service - provides assistance within one hour to those who have fallen in their own home, alleviating pressure on the ambulance service, whilst making a vital difference to patients and carers (Careline clients only).
- Home from Hospital Service - patients returning home from a stay in hospital have the necessary support and adaptations to their home, helping to reduce unnecessarily prolonged stays in hospital.
- Published ‘Bright’ brochure - promoting a range of dementia services for those residents living with the condition and their carers.
- Dementia Action Week – organising a week-long annual programme of events and activities for people with dementia and their carers.
In addition, the Council was the first local authority in Surrey to pledge its support for carers looking after someone with dementia through the Carers Woking Together Memorandum of Understanding. It was also the first in Surrey to train staff to complete a carer’s prescription, which helps ensure carers are provided with all support possible.
Cllr Colin Kemp, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Becoming the first local authority in Surrey to be recognised as a Dementia Friendly Community is a fantastic achievement.
“The award demonstrates our shared commitment in making our Borough as supportive as possible to residents with dementia and their carers.
“With over 1,600 people in Surrey living with dementia, and thousands more friends and relatives acting as primary carers, the need for such communities is immense. Here in Woking it will ensure that dementia is at the forefront of the community’s mind.”
Alexandra Taylor, Senior Dementia Friendly Communities Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “It is great to hear of the positive work happening in Woking. They are setting a high standard that I hope many more will follow across the country. We want people from all walks of life and backgrounds to join the Dementia Friendly Communities movement.”
If you own or manage a local business, however big or small, and would like to find out more about joining the Woking Dementia Action Alliance, please visit www.woking.gov.uk/dementiafriendlywoking or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, for more information about the range of services available to residents with dementia and their carers, please visit www.woking.gov.uk/dementiasupport
Members of the Woking Dementia Action Alliance:
- Action for Carers
- Bluebird Care
- Bright Shadow
- Cardinals in the Community
- Freedom Leisure
- Friends of the Elderly
- Goldsworth Park Dementia Action Alliance
- Heathside (Anchor Trust)
- Home Instead Senior Care
- Kingsleigh Care Home
- Knaphill Library
- Metropolitan Thames Valley
- Morrisons Solicitors LLP
- Morrisons Supermarket
- NatWest Bank
- New Life Church
- New Vision Homes
- Skipton Building Society
- Soroptimist International of Woking District
- St Andrews Church
- The Lightbox
- Triangle Community Services
- Waitrose Goldsworth Park
- West Byfleet Library
- West Hall Care Home
- Woking & Sam Beare Hospices
- Woking Age Concern
- Woking Borough Council
- Woking Community Transport
- Woking Library