Northampton aspires to be 'dementia friendly' town

It is hoped the scheme will give people with dementia 'confidence' while living in Northampton
It is hoped the scheme will give people with dementia 'confidence' while living in Northampton

Northampton is working towards becoming a ‘dementia friendly town’ with a host of schemes to try to improve the quality of life of those with the debilitating illness.

Bus passes identifying commuters with the condition and where they live if they get confused are part of the proposals, as are ID cards for carers.

The suggestions by Northampton Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee were rubber-stamped by cabinet last Wednesday (June 13).

It will see the authority work towards ‘dementia friendly status’ for the town, and registering with the Alzheimer’s Society as part of the Dementia Friendly Recognition Scheme.

Council papers state: “The panel recognises the value of towns that have become dementia friendly and felt that it is very important for Northampton to become a dementia friendly town.

"Such a town is one in which people with dementia are empowered to have high aspirations and feel confidence.”

The report also found there was a ‘lack of support for young people living with dementia’, and recommended that the creation of a dementia forum would be useful, with activities such as dog walks being offered.

The authority is expected to also appoint a dementia friends champion to oversee the project, who will liaise with transport managers to train bus drivers and raise awareness of those living with the condition. The ‘champion’ is also set to work towards the introduction of ID cards for carers, and ‘Keep Safe’ cards for vulnerable people.

Responding to Councillor Jamie Lane, who presented the findings, deputy leader Phil Larratt said: “This is a really good report with a lot of detail.”