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What is it?

Dementia is a group of symptoms, rather than a single disease. It refers to difficulties with thinking and memory. It is caused by damage to the brain and is typically regarded as long standing or progressive; disturbance of a number of brain functions, such as memory, thinking, language and calculation; and reduced ability to perform day-to-day activities. These changes are often small to start with, but can become severe enough to affect daily life.

The situation in York

Organisations in York have agreed to try to make the city ‘dementia friendly’, meaning a good place to live for people with dementia and their carers. We’re looking to improve four key areas for people living with dementia

Place: making York as easy as possible to move around and enjoy, with uncluttered and clear signage, and making public transport and facilities comfortable, easy to use and accessible. York already has many assets – in terms of its leisure, cultural and spiritual resources – which it can enable and encourage people with dementia to enjoy.

People: training for staff who provide key services in the wider community, such as in banks, libraries and shops, to improve customer service and understanding of their needs, and remove stigma.

Resources: using the ‘dementia friendly’ forget-me-not symbol to denote dementia-friendly services and venues (theatres, cinemas, cafes); supporting businesses to become dementia-friendly and recognising such credentials; considering the needs of people with dementia when developing services (and not just health and care services).

Networks: encouraging people with dementia and carers to network and share experience; creating a York Dementia Action Alliance where partners can commit to action within their own organisations and support this movement; building a sense of corporate responsibility across all sectors. We have agreed to make sure that all our council’s services become dementia-friendly. Find out more about York’s plans to become a Dementia Friendly City and how you can help 

Last reviewed: 11/03/2015

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