City of New Westminster becomes B.C.’s first dementia-friendly city council
New Westminster - Today, the City of New Westminster became British Columbia’s first dementia-friendly city council. City councillors participated in Dementia Friends training conducted by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. this morning at City Hall.
“With an aging population, issues related to dementia are increasingly important. The City of New Westminster is committed to ensuring people with dementia can have their varied needs met and continue to be an integral part of the community,” said New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Coté. “To this end, Council is receiving training and City staff will be developing a Dementia-Friendly Community Action Plan with funding support from the Province.”
In December 2014, the City of New Westminster learned it had been successful in its application for funding under the Seniors’ Housing and Support Initiative with $20,000 approved to build on its Age-Friendly Community work by developing a Dementia-Friendly Community Action Plan. The City will continue its work with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. to make the City of New Westminster an age and ability friendly community that adapts its structures and services to be accessible and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities. Since 2007, the City has undertaken a variety of projects to become more age friendly, including implementing an Adaptable Housing Policy and Bylaw, an Age Friendly Business Initiative, a Century House inclusion project, and a Wheelability Assessment Project.
“We are working with municipalities, professionals, corporations and volunteers to better support people with dementia through our Dementia-Friendly Communities Initiative,” said Maria Howard, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “We are thrilled that the City of New Westminster is the first city council in the province to receive our dementia training.”