Rye looks to set up a dementia friends group

There are plans to make Rye more friendly and understanding toward people who suffer from dementia.

Dahlia Redmond, who is well known in the town for her work with the Brownies, is leading the way in setting up a Dementia Friends Group.

This week she told Rye Town Council’s public services committee that there are 800,000 people in England living with dementia, 17,000 of who are under 65.

She says there are 2,200 people living in Rother who suffer from dementia.

She is looking to follow Bexhill where a scheme, already involving banks and the police, is looking to train staff of local shops and businesses to recognise the signs of dementia and how to interact in a positive way with those who suffer from it.

The recent launch of the Hastings Dementia Alliance has seen the issue of badges which say ‘I am living well with dementia’.

The Dementia Friends Group scheme is a government strategy which receives funding.

Bexhill was chosen to launch the scheme as a pilot for East Sussex,

Dahlia Redmond said: “The aim is to reduce the stigma, misunderstanding and prejudice surrounding those who live with dementia.”

Pat Hughes, from Rye Community Transport said that at least two of the drivers they use have worked with dementia sufferers at some time so are aware of the problems they face.

A spokesperson for Dementia Friends said: “ People with dementia get by with a little help from their friends. And anybody can become a Dementia Friend. It’s just about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things you can do to help people with the condition.

“People with dementia want to carry on going about their daily lives and feeling included in their local community, but they sometimes need a helping hand to do so.

“Dementia Friends learn a little bit about what it’s like to live with dementia and turns that understanding into action.

“This could be helping someone find the right bus or being patient in a till queue if someone with dementia is taking longer to pay. Every action counts.

For more information visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk.