Dementia Friendly Abingdon at Town Council Meeting

There was a Town Council Meeting this evening. The meeting begins with the chance for people from Abingdon to ask questions, and community groups to make presentations. There were no questions but there was a presentation by Dementia Friendly Abingdon. I will begin with a summary of that. I will summarise the rest of the town council meeting tomorrow.

There are 900,000 people in the United Kingdom with a diagnosis of dementia. In addition, there are many people who have mild cognitive impairment which in many cases will lead to a full diagnosis of dementia. The full diagnosis happens at a memory clinic run out of Abingdon Community Hospital by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

A dementia diagnosis allows access to services provided by Dementia Oxfordshire. Those without a diagnosis have no access to those services.

The speaker told a story about a friend whose mother had dementia and went into a shop in Abingdon. The lady with dementia said to her daughter, What are we in here for? She was told three times patiently. The lady with dementia asked again and a shop assistant said, Oh, for goodness sake you! Why can’t you just listen!

Dementia Abingdon is there to raise awareness on how to recognise, and to react to people with Dementia. It is led by a group of people with experience of living with people with dementia, or with dementia themselves. Dementia Abingdon leads training sessions and have given them to community groups, to individuals, to businesses, and the fire service. They offered the same for the Town Councillors and the offer was accepted.

A number of councillors asked questions, but Councillor Charlie Birks put it in a way that made it relevant to everybody, ‘None of us are immune from dementia, nor are any of our relatives and it is not age specific.’

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