London takes action to become world's first dementia-friendly capital city

Published 16 September 2013

Fire fighters, yeoman warders, police officers, and television stars unite today to support the estimated 70,000 people living with dementia in the capital.

This comes as London launches itself as the world's first dementia-friendly capital city.

Today (16 September) sees the launch of the Pan-London Dementia Action Alliance taking place this afternoon at City Hall. The Alliance is formed by a collection of organisations, businesses and individuals who are committed to improving the lives of people with dementia in London, including the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade, the London Ambulance Service, UCLPartners, Age UK London, NHS England (London Region), Skills for Care, London Councils, Dementia Advocacy Network, the Royal Academy of Arts, Transport for London, Historic Royal Palaces and Alzheimer's Society.

From training bus drivers to spot the signs of dementia, to making historic royal palaces more accessible, everybody has a part to play in making London a dementia-friendly city.

The launch comes after a recent Alzheimer's Society report found that less than half of people living with dementia feel a part of the community (47 per cent) and nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of UK adults surveyed do not think society is geared up to deal with dementia.

Kate Moore, Alzheimer's Society's regional Operations Director said:

'As Londoners, we know that our city is one of the finest in the world, and it's vital that people living with dementia should still be able to enjoy all the capital has to offer. Many people with dementia have reported feeling trapped in their own homes and let down by their communities, with one in three only getting out once a week and one in 10 only manage this once a month. This is simply unacceptable.

'The Pan-London Dementia Action Alliance aims to address the isolation that many people living with dementia can feel and we are delighted to see so many of London's greatest attractions and services committing to helping Londoners live well with dementia.'

The Pan-London Dementia Action Alliance asks organisations to sign up to the National Dementia Declaration and come up with three actions they will take to make life better for people with dementia. For example, the Metropolitan Police has an ambitious awareness-raising project for staff, rolling out the Dementia Friends programme within their organisation, making those who come in to contact with the public more aware and able to spot the signs of dementia so they can support people in their care and in their community. Transport for London is also looking to raise awareness of dementia within its workforce and is making sure that its information and services are easier to understand and access.

Others might already provide training and services for people with dementia but want to do more. For more information please download (pdf) the National Dementia Declaration for England.

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