Hello and welcome to our brand new web site dedicated to celebrating and supporting our Dementia Friendly Communities across East Lothian!
Living with dementia can be frightening and lonely. Although everyone experiences dementia in a different way, people with dementia can face problems with:
- remembering things
- working things out
- learning new things
- coping with physical or sensory impairments that develop
- finding your way about and driving
- language and behaviour change sometimes
- stress and fatigue
But just like everyone else, people with dementia want things to do, places to go and people to see. They want to live the lives they choose as respected and valued members of the community for as long as possible. Two of the biggest problems faced by people with dementia are stigma and loneliness. These aren’t solved by a pill, but by meaningful and valued relationships with other people. Understanding why someone is struggling with money in a shop, being less impatient when they are taking longer than you think they should help to reduce anxiety and stop people feeling judged. Bad experiences and the fear of stigma often lead people with dementia to stop going out. Over time social contacts and friendships can fall away, people can become depressed and at risk.
Friendships and everyday acts of kindness make a huge difference. Whilst there is currently no cure for dementia, every one of us has the potential to make a real difference to the lived experience of people with dementia, whether it’s our own families, friends or people out and about in our community.
That’s what Dementia Friendly Communities are all about. Dementia Friendly Communities are welcoming to and include everyone, including people with dementia. They’re good places for everyone – we all need a bit more help or understanding from time to time.
Across East Lothian, communities are talking about what makes somewhere a good place to be if you have dementia. People are organising community information days, fund raising events, concerts and dances. Young and old are coming together and building friendships across the community and learning about each other. People living with dementia have choices, friendships and respect.
East Lothian’s Dementia Friendly Communities are wholly community led and run. They are fuelled by generosity, compassion and community spirit. Community organisations and individuals – Community Centres, Day Centres, Churches, Community Councils, Schools, independent businesses, Sheltered Housing and the third sector get the buzz going in their communities and things start to happen. Every community is different and does Dementia Friendly in its own way. The model is simple: People make things happen.
Dementia Friendly East Lothian provides whatever support and encouragement communities need to help them realise their aspirations in whatever way we can. We hope this website will be a place to share experiences, learning and inspiration.
Please keep in touch and let us know what dementia friendly events and ideas you’re having and if we can help.
Dementia Friendly East Lothian