“For example, we are working to make Crawley a “dementia-friendly town”. We are increasing diagnosis rates and awareness while working with organisations such as the police and fire service to ensure there is a network of dementia-friendly organisations trying to make life as normal as possible for people suffering with dementia and for their carers.”
Amit Bhargava, chair, Crawley commissioning consortium and co-lead, NHS Alliance’s GP commissioning federation
One in 4 of the UK population is over 65. It’s predicted One in three over that age will develop dementia. I blogged the other day about living in a dementia friendly environment. I was struck therefore by Amit Bhargava’s comment in an on line article in Guardian Healthcare about dementia friendly towns.
I heard a story the other day about an elderly man suffering from dementia. He’d convinced himself he was meeting his daughter in London. He caught a coach from his village, 50 miles away, and spent hours shivering on a street corner, waiting for her. A passing good Samaritan worked out what was wrong and drove the old chap home.
We can all easily spot a broken leg. It’s not so easy with a broken mind. When you have dementia it can be very easy for the every day familiar to turn into an unfamiliar and alien environment.
So the next time you see someone on the street, or in a shop, or café, who looks lost, or confused, do stop for a minute and think, whether its your turn to be a good Samaritan.
And for all of us running or working in a business, or a public service, what can we do to make the everyday more user friendly for those whose minds have fragmented and who are more in need than most of a warm smile and a friendly hand?
Do you live in a dementia friendly town?