Futures Forum: Sidmouth as a dementia-friendly town
Futures Forum: The future of dementia in Sidmouth
in last week's Herald, the front page read:
'Let's lose our God's waiting room tag'Stephen Sumner
Friday, November 8, 2013
SIDMOUTH business should lead the way and cater for all ages and disabilities if the town wants to shake off its 'God's waiting room' image, say civic leaders.
The town is campaigning to be more dementia friendly, but Councillors fear tourists could be alientated - and say everyone should be welcomed.
They said cash they are bidding for would be better spent on braoder awareness training for all disabilities - and it would set the standard across the country.
Speaking at Monday's (14th November) meeting, Council Chairman John Hollick said: 'We are a family-friendly town, we are a visitor-friendly town - but being a dementia-friendly town may do damage to tourism.
'Everybody says we're God's waiting room already.'
Home - Sidmouth Herald
The context to this response is a story from over the summer, that Sidmouth is not 'children-friendly', and that is indeed God's waiting room...
Not unfriendly - Letters - Sidmouth Herald
Waiting for God - Letters - Sidmouth Herald
However, East Devon's over 50's make up 50% of the population:
BBC News - Research shows ageing population in parts of Devon
And Sidmouth will see a significant rise in the number of over-70's:
Torbay has been at the forefront of a campaign to become the country's first dementia-friendly town:
17 January 2012 Last updated at 20:22
Torbay's Norman McNamara in 'Dementia friendly' plan for town
A man in the early stages of Dementia wants his home town of Torbay in Devon to become "dementia friendly".
Norman McNamara, a member of Torbay Dementia Action Alliance (TBAA), wants shops and businesses to recognise signs of the illness and help customers. He said he wants the resort to back the campaign and eventually advertise it to potential holidaymakers.
Torbay District Council said it supported the idea and could see both the resort and visitors benefiting.
Mr McNamara said he came up with the idea after he had had difficulty in a shop. "I went to pay and got a bit flustered, and I actually said to the guy behind the counter, 'I've got dementia just let me have a minute' and he just laughed at me and said 'oh yeah I've got that as well'."'Avoid offence'
Mr McNamara said the man then apologised but "it's remarks like that which don't help". He said he hopes his proposals could be adopted across Torbay.
Chairman of Torbay Council, Derek Mills, said: "[It's] a winner for people with dementia, they'll be able to come to Torbay knowing that people in Torbay are aware of of it and they'll feel comfortable and we can benefit from that as a resort."
But Matthew Clarke, who runs a book and chocolate shop in Paignton, said although he supports the idea, care needs to be taken not to offend customers or wrongly assume they have dementia. "We do have customers who come in and order books on a repeated basis, we don't know whether they're just forgetful or whether they have dementia and it's not our business to ask them," said Mr Clarke.
Whilst there have been similar moves in Budleigh Salterton:
Call to make town dementia-friendly
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Budleigh Salterton is to be encouraged by a new campaign to become a dementia-friendly community.
Call to make town dementia-friendly - News - Exmouth Journal
There has been a campaign to create dementia-friendly towns across the country:
Dementia-friendly communities can improve care and save money | Healthcare Professionals Network | Guardian Professional