Let’s make Portsmouth better for those with dementia

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A FRESH promise has been made to look after those with dementia and their carers in Portsmouth.

The Dementia Action Alliance is an extension of a network that already exists, made up of 33 organisations.

It includes Portsmouth City Council, Solent NHS Trust, Age UK and the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group.

At a council health and wellbeing board meeting, a further pledge was made to ensure more businesses, volunteer and charity groups join the alliance in order to make Portsmouth a dementia-friendly city.

It is forecast that by the end of March next year, the number of people with dementia in Portsmouth will be around 2,200.

Nationally the number of people with the condition is rising, as the population gets older.

Preeti Sheth is head of the integrated commissioning unit for the council and the CCG and presented a report at the meeting.

She said: ‘It’s predicted more people will have dementia and we want to be prepared for that.

‘We want businesses, carers, those with an interest in dementia, charity groups, and other organisations to sign up to the 
alliance.

‘This is so people with dementia can remain as part of the community.

‘They should be able to enjoy mainstream activities, and in order to do that people need to have a better understanding of dementia, so they have support and aren’t isolated.

‘It also makes sense for businesses as you can cater for all needs.’

Fareham was the first town in Hampshire to become dementia-friendly, and Portsmouth wants to follow.

Dementia usually occurs in people over the age of 65.

It makes people forgetful and affects people’s speech, understanding and judgement.

Councillor Frank Jonas, who is also the chairman of the health and social care panel, said: ‘We want everyone from across the spectrum to sign up to the alliance.

‘The dementia population is growing and I welcome a move to help them and carers and families.’