Arun officially becomes ‘Dementia Friendly’ community

After five years, Arun has officially become a certified ‘Demential Friendly’ community with local businesses adapting their spaces to create a more inclusive area for those with dementia,

Dementia Friends is a programme run nationally by the Alzheimer’s Society, with the aim of transforming the way people think, act, and talk about dementia.

Mandie Kane, 58, is the chair of the Arun Dementia Friends Community, and is also a community dementia nurse.

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She said: “We work with shops in Arun to try to raise the awareness of how they can look at their environment and help people with dementia.

Arun has become certified a Dementia Friends community - Caroline Thomas (Customer relations manager at Darlington Court) and Mandie Kane (Mental health nurse specialising in dementia and chair of Arun dementia friends). Pic S Robards

“When Arun finally became a certified community, I felt absolutely amazing. It was a long, hard thing to achieve, and it feels great to say we actually have the official status.”

The recent Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly community retail guide states that 60 per cent of people with dementia have ‘a lack of confidence’ when they are out shopping, and 44 per cent worry about ‘becoming a burden to others’.

The survey also found that, at present, 78 per cent of people over the age of 70 with dementia feel as though their local high street is ‘not suited to their needs’.

You can find out more information on becoming a ‘Dementia Friend’ on their website.

Mandie Kane and her dog at the dementia glow walk in Brighton 2020
Rustington businesses supporting dementia action week in May 2021
Rustington Library supporting Dementia in May 2021
Collage of windows in Rustington High Street showcasing denim clothing to raise awareness for dementia