Provost Douglas Dodds joined more than 100 people to celebrate Dunblane becoming the first Dementia Friendly town in the Stirling area.
The event in the town’s Victoria Halls was the culmination of five years’ work by the Dementia Friendly Dunblane steering group in the Alzheimer Society recognition process.
Part of this process involves learning about dementia and becoming a dementia friend by undertaking the simple, practical actions that can make a dramatic difference to people living with dementia as well as their family carers. This includes small steps such as the colour of doors, mats, toilet seats and clear directions on signs and documents.
The steering group has also set up a weekly memory café and meeting centre in Dunblane, where people can meet, have fun, talk to others in a similar position and enjoy creative activities, as well as offering an opportunity for family carers to receive practical and emotional support and have a break.
Individuals who have dementia and family carers have experienced a wide range of benefits from attending these events.
At the celebration event, which was held on 22 October, members and family carers of Fife dementia support group, STAND (Striving Towards A New Day), shared powerful, personal stories of young onset dementia.
Certificates were also presented to some of the many volunteers whose support was crucial in securing the achievement.
Making a real difference
Provost Dodds said: “It was a privilege to be part of these special celebrations in Dunblane and it was an extremely moving and uplifting event.
“On behalf of the people of Stirling, I would like to pass on my congratulations to the steering group and everyone involved in achieving Dementia Friendly town status.
“The fantastic work of the local community is making a real difference to people living with dementia in Dunblane and those who care for them.
“I would also like to pay tribute to all the volunteers who support the many activities that enable local people with dementia to live more independent lives and ensure they are understood, respected and supported.”
The Dementia Friendly Dunblane steering group is grateful of the support given by community members including businesses, schools, churches, and sports clubs.
The group will now focus on creating an intergenerational Dementia Friendly community where children of all ages will learn about condition to help eradicate the stigma associated with it.