Here is Ruth McCabe's (Dementia Scotland) note on the event:
"Thank you so much for inviting me along to your meeting. I am delighted to have this opportunity to give you information about the dementia Friendly Fife Project and I hope to inspire you to get involved and become a dementia friend.
"Before I go into the details of the Project I’d like to pose you a question. Imagine for a minute that you have been diagnosed with dementia. How would you like to live your life? Would you want to be able to do the same things you have always done or do you think you would need to shut yourself up at home to stay safe and avoid people who may not know how to talk to you?
"If we can create a Dementia Friendly Community across Fife then people living with a diagnosis of dementia in their lives will be able to do what they have always done.
Centre: Ruth McCabe of Dementia Scotland
That means going to the same shops, banks, building societies, cafés, pubs, libraries, museums, galleries, sports clubs, churches and anywhere else that is “normal” in their lives.
"Over the last 2 years Fife Council has worked with Alzheimer Scotland on a Project to endeavour to support Glenrothes and the surrounding area to become Dementia Friendly. This has involved approaching local businesses and services to take them through a process which involves assessing physical spaces for their signage and way finding and offering dementia friends training. The range of organisations which received the award include GP practices, Libraries, The Kingdom Shopping Centre, Community Centres, a hairdressers, a hotel, a church, banks, a Building Society and cafes. The Project was very successful and Fife Council wanted to extend it across the whole of the Kingdom. I have been employed to take this forward.
"The Dementia Friendly Fife Project will work in exactly the same way and will be an extension of the work in Glenrothes. I will be continuing to assess physical spaces to give advice on how to create dementia friendly signage. The other major component of the Project is to make sure everyone has a better understanding of dementia and how it can affect people at all stages of the illness. This is achieved by becoming a dementia friend. This training is open to everyone and can be taken on line through a 15 minute course or at an hour long face to face session.
With one in three of us likely to get dementia it is really important for us all to know where to get information and support and how to look after ourselves and any family, friends or work colleagues who may get diagnosed. Knowledge and understanding about how to live well with dementia is the key to all of us being able to stay at home and continue to be part of the communities we know and love and where we are known and loved.
Dementia Friendly Communities are driven by people living with the illness and they identify priority areas for development and approaches. It is essential that we ask them what matters to them about living with dementia in their communities and I will be setting up events to ensure this happens. Consultation like this was part of the Glenrothes Project and people in that area told us they struggled to access information through the internet, they wanted to stay at work following their diagnosis, they had challenges with public transport and needed practical information like how to manage a Power of Attorney. From what we heard we created a paper leaflet which contains information about support agencies. We’re working with Stagecoach to ensure all their drivers become dementia friends. We also now ask organisations who get involved to seriously consider the support they would give to members of staff and volunteers who may develop dementia. Some of these issues may be the same in other parts of the Kingdom but it is essential that we ask as there may be local variations. So how can you get involved?