Our Friendly Communities Officers Sarah Prescott and Elizabeth Griffin work to bring together the Dementia Friendly and Age Friendly initiatives to help make Leeds the ‘Best City to Grow Old In’.
Age Friendly Leeds
Age Friendly Cities is a World Health Organisation initiative. Leeds joined the Global Network of over 800 cities in 40 countries, in 2014.
An age-friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them, helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who need it. In practical terms, an age friendly city adapts its structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities.
Guided by older people in Leeds, and working with the Age Friendly Leeds Partnership, Leeds City Council and the third sector, Time to Shine has written an Age Friendly Charter. The next step is to continue to reach out across the city to help us make the Charter pledges a reality.
Dementia Friendly Leeds
Dementia Friendly Leeds is a campaign to raise awareness of dementia and make services more accessible. The aim is to ensure that people who are living with dementia, and their carers, remain an active part of their city and keep doing the things they enjoy. It is a partnership between Leeds Older People’s Forum, Alzheimer’s Society and Leeds City Council. It offers support to any community, organisation or individual who wants to become more ‘dementia friendly’.
With around 8,500 people in Leeds living with dementia, along with their carers, family and friends, this is an issue which already effects a huge number of local people and will have an impact on many more in the future. Many older people who are living with dementia and their carer, who is often also an older person, become reluctant to go out and about because of previous bad experiences, feelings of shame and the fear of encountering negative attitudes and exploitation. So as well as developing better services we also need a change in attitudes in order to include people who are living with dementia in our society.