Raising awareness of dementia
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 carers, who are often older people themselves, become reluctant to go out and about because of previous bad experiences, feelings of shame and the fear of encountering negative attitudes and exploitation. This often leads to social isolation, 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.
It’s not that we want anything different in a way, it’s that we want to be able to fit in just the same without stigma. Or without people thinking ‘Oh you can’t join our group because you’ve got dementia.’
Pamela’s Story (Alzheimer’s Society)
Dementia Friendly Leeds is a campaign to raise awareness of dementia and make services more accessible. A joint partnership between Leeds Older People’s Forum, Alzheimer’s Society and Leeds City Council, the aim is to ensure people living with dementia – along with their carers – remain an active part of their city and keep doing the things they enjoy.
Dementia Friendly Communities can be any combination of partners including community groups, organisations, businesses and individual citizens. You can visit the Alzheimer’s Society website to find out how to make your community more dementia friendly.
How can I get involved?
We encourage individuals, organisations and businesses to become more Age & Dementia Friendly and offer support to do so. We’ve developed a guide for businesses and organisations to support and encourage you to sign up and take action to become age and dementia friendly. It also helps them contribute to making Leeds a place where older people – and people living with dementia – actively participate in the life of the city.
As well as making the community a better place for everyone, businesses can also benefit from retaining customers and attracting new ones; research shows that 83% of people with memory problems have switched their shopping habits to places that are more accessible.Dementia Friendly retail guide, Alzheimer’s Society, 2018
Last but not least, another way to get involved is by joining the Leeds Dementia Action Alliance, which supports groups and organisations to help make Leeds a dementia-friendly city.
Become a Dementia Friend
We want people living with dementia to feel confident, safe and part of their local community. Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition. Within Leeds we run regular public Dementia Friends sessions for individuals and can arrange bespoke sessions for our Age and Dementia Friendly organisations. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Dementia Action Week
Dementia Action Week is a national awareness raising campaign, which works with individuals and organisations across the UK to encourage people to ‘act on dementia’. This year’s campaign ran from 15-21 May 2023 and was marked with lots of events across the city.
Watch this space for how you can get involved in Dementia Action Week 2024.
Dementia Friendly Leeds What’s On Listing
An online listing of social opportunities (online, phone and face-to-face) available for people living with dementia and their carers, in and around Leeds.
There is a search box at the top of the listing so you can narrow down your search by area (such as ‘Bramley’) or activity (such as ‘sport’)
If you offer social opportunities in Leeds either specifically for people living with dementia, or activities which are Dementia Friendly then you can add your activity to the What’s On Listing.