Making a difference for people with dementia

Dorset Echo: FRESH START: The launch of the Dementia Action Alliance FRESH START: The launch of the Dementia Action Alliance

WEYMOUTH and Portland is another step towards becoming ‘dementia friendly’.

Weymouth and Portland Dementia Action Alliance is being created by people who live and work in the area, with the aim of improving the experiences of local people living with memory problems and dementia-related illnesses.

An open meeting is being held in January to help launch the group.

It comes as efforts are made to bring the community together to make towns ‘dementia friendly’ by increasing understanding and awareness.

The Alzheimer’s Society has used money from a government fund to create three posts in Dorset to help set up Local Dementia Action Alliances (LDAA), aiming to improve the lives of people living with dementia.

Representatives from different sectors including retail, healthcare, residents’ groups and service users themselves will be part of the alliance.

Jo Bazalgette is the LDDA co-ordinator responsible for Weymouth and Dorchester.

Her role was created partly in response to a report, highlighted in the Echo earlier this year, which found that Dorset has one of the lowest dementia diagnosis rates in the country.

Mrs Bazalgette helped to launch the Dorchester area alliance with an event at Dorset County Museum in October.

She said there had been an ‘incredible response’ to the project which proves that people are willing to make adjustments to their businesses or services and make a difference to people with dementia.

Now she is hoping the same support will be in Weymouth and Portland. Businesses which give support will be given special stickers which can be displayed in windows to show firms are ‘dementia friendly’.

The forget-me-not logo on which the sticker is based was designed by local artist Sarah Hough.

Mrs Bazalgette said: “Excitingly, the Dementia Action Alliance for Weymouth and Portland is really beginning to take shape.

“We are having an open meeting at Weymouth Community Fire Station on Friday, January 17 at 10.30am.”

She added: “Whether you are living with memory problems yourself, are caring for someone who is affected by dementia or are an interested member of the public or a local business owner, we would love to meet you.”

If you can’t make the meeting but want to know more contact Mrs Bazalgette on 07730 287199 or email jo.bazalgette@


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