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MK takes major step toward ‘dementia friendly’ status

Milton Keynes Council has signed a partnership agreement with the UK’s leading dementia charity, Alzheimer’s Society. The council-led partnership will work towards ensuring that MK is a good place to live for people with dementia and those who support them.

Above: Cllr Emily Darlington (MKC) with Sam Marshall (Alzheimer's Society)

In the UK, there are 850,000 people with dementia, including 2,690 in Milton Keynes. By 2030, the number of people with the condition in the city is set to jump to 4,240. Numbers are set to soar nationwide, by 2025 there will be one million people with dementia, by 2051, two million.

The agreement covers a broad range of city-wide and local community projects, with ideas for development ranging from improvements to signage and building design through to new training and education programmes.

The new partnership will also establish dementia-focused community groups across MK. Working alongside other community organisations and partners such as the NHS, these groups will look at existing local facilities such as cafes, shopping areas and GP surgeries and how they can be made more dementia friendly. They will also explore opportunities for activities such as ‘memory clubs’, music activity groups and clearly signposted walks.

Cllr Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, said: “Our aspiration is for MK to be known as a dementia-friendly city; a good place to live for people with dementia and for their carers, friends, and family. Right across the country, we have an aging population and the number of people living with dementia locally is set to increase. This is a journey for us, and we are committed to exploring new ways for people living with dementia to be respected and considered at every level.”

Linda Goddard, Alzheimer’s Society Area Manager, said: “We are delighted that Milton Keynes Council is taking steps to become a dementia friendly city where people with the condition are understood, valued, supported, and confident that they can contribute to community life and empowered to live the life they want to.

From the taxi driver to the hairdresser and the bus company to the newsagent, everyone can identify things they can do to support people with dementia to continue to do the things they want to. Alzheimer’s Society is committed to ensuring the rights of people affected by dementia are recognised and until the day we find a cure, we will be here to support anyone affected by dementia through services including our Dementia Information Service on 01908 669 404.”


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