Alliance against dementia

Mark McGlade of Home Instead with Phil Lee (lions club of Sidmouth),Adrian Ford (Sid Valley Memory C

Mark McGlade of Home Instead with Phil Lee (lions club of Sidmouth),Adrian Ford (Sid Valley Memory Cafe) and Paul Whitehouse (Sidmouth Rotary Club) at a meeting in February. Ref exb 3594-08-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Communities across East Devon are teaming up to share their best ideas for giving people living with dementia the support they need.

Sidmouth is joining Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth and Seaton in the Dementia Action Alliance – recognising that while there is support available, each town has a high proportion of elderly residents.

It is hoped the initiative can accelerate the existing volunteer work – including Sidmouth’s £100,000 campaign to fund an Admiral Nurse – and continue to increase awareness of the once little-understood ailment.

Mark McGlade, chairman of the alliance and the director of Home Instead Senior Care, said: “The four towns of Budleigh Salterton, Exmouth, Seaton and Sidmouth each have a proud history of supporting those living with dementia and their carers.

“Each town has an active memory café, but also a much higher than national average of older people living in the community. The challenge for many communities is how to destigmatise dementia and to create a more caring and dementia-friendly environment for all.

“It can be a long and hard process to change perceptions, but with education and understanding, great things can be achieved.

“Bringing together like-minded champions from across the East Devon coastal towns area, we are able to build a greater momentum, share best practices, help more people and ultimately speed up the process of making our towns more dementia friendly.”

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The new umbrella group will bring together the most effective elements of initiatives from acorss the towns, and reach out to new members, from businesses and local authorities to churches and health centres.