New Westminster working towards becoming a dementia-friendly community
New Westminster – The City of New Westminster, with funding support from the Province of British Columbia and in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and Fraser Health, is developing a Dementia-Friendly Community Action Plan. This action plan will facilitate public awareness and understanding about dementia, improve access to resources and supports for people living with dementia and their caregivers, and inform changes to the built environment, civic programs and services.
“There were 940 people living with dementia in New Westminster in 2014 and this number is projected to almost double by 2034,” said John Stark, the City’s Senior Social Planner. “This plan will be an essential first step in facilitating greater independence and an enhanced quality of life for people living with dementia and their caregivers.”
Essential to the plan’s development is the involvement of people living with dementia and their caregivers, as there is much to be learned from their lived experiences. A survey to solicit input is available at http://ow.ly/NJPO3. Hard copy surveys and drop-off boxes are available at Century House and the New Westminster Public Library.
“We have received over 40 surveys to date and the feedback has been very informative,” commented Annette Oakes, Action Plan Working Group member. “I strongly encourage anyone who has not completed the survey to do so, as we really want the plan to reflect the needs in the community.” The deadline for completing the survey is August 21, 2015.
In January 2015, City Council participated in a Dementia-Friends educational workshop, which was offered by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and, in the process, became the first Dementia-Friendly City Council in British Columbia. “We have all been touched by dementia and we want to ensure that we are a caring community and that people living with dementia and their caregivers can get the support they need to live as independently as possible in our community,” remarked Mayor Cote.
Senior Social Planner
City of New Westminster
firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-515-3777