New role to help create dementia communities

Andy Ball, who has been appointed dementia action alliance project manager by the Alzheimer's Society.
Andy Ball, who has been appointed dementia action alliance project manager by the Alzheimer's Society.

A new appointment is aiming to create dementia-friendly communities across the north east.

Andy Ball, of North Shields, has been appointed dementia action alliance project manager by the Alzheimer’s Society.

In a dementia-friendly community, people will be aware of and understand dementia, and people with dementia will feel included

Andy Ball

North Tyneside is one of a few places showing signs of creating dementia-friendly communities.

The father-of-two said: “There are 35,000 people who are living with dementia in the north east and with those numbers set to rise and no cure in sight at the moment we need to get the environment right for them so they can live well.

“A dementia-friendly community can be described as a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected, supported, and confident they can contribute to community life.

“In a dementia-friendly community, people will be aware of and understand dementia, and people with dementia will feel included.”

He added: “I know what a devastating disease dementia can be but it need not be a death sentence.

“Sadly, like so many families, dementia has affected my family and that has inspired me to do what I can to make life better for people with dementia and I won’t be leaving a stone unturned.

“But it would be naive to think that I could change the world on my own and it would be wrong to think the Alzheimer’s Society can do the same alone which is why it will be vital to work in partnership with other organisations as Dementia Action Alliances.”

“Thankfully, the appetite for change is really strong so we are heading in the right direction but there is a long way to go, by getting involved and working together we can all make a difference,” said Andy.

“People across the north east traditionally stick together through thick and thin and that is a trait that will stand us in good stead for the future so we can make sure that people with dementia can live well within their own communities.”

For more information on Dementia Friendly Communities call Andy on (0191) 298 3989 or email andrew.ball@alzheimers.org.uk