Commissioner Attends Dementia Friendly Cowbridge Open Day
The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots, attended the Dementia Friendly Cowbridge Open Day to discuss making communities more dementia friendly, and how to provide support and advice to those living with and caring for people with dementia in Wales.
The event took place on Friday 21st June in Cowbridge Town Hall, where the Commissioner was joined by the Mayor of Cowbridge, Cllr Alec Trousdell, and Dr Isabel Graham, High Sherriff of South Glamorgan and local GP along with many organisations providing information about dementia in Wales. Members of the community were able to drop in throughout the day to meet and speak with dementia support workers and carer support groups as well as enjoy music from 50+ choir With Music in Mind, and school choir Ysgol Iolo Morgannwg.
The Commissioner talked to attendees about her own experiences working with people with dementia and how much has changed since she started working in the sector over 30 years ago. Although more communities are beginning to adopt dementia friendly initiatives, the Commissioner pointed out that there is still a lot of work to be done to get the right support for older people living with dementia and their carers.
Speaking after the event, the Commissioner said: “It was a pleasure to see so many people at today’s event and such a large number of organisations working with people affected by dementia. Things have changed dramatically since I started working in the sector and it’s because of the work of the organisations here today - what they do is life changing.
“We need to make sure people living with dementia get the right respite, the correct financial support and, crucially, we need to help those caring for people with dementia by ensuring they are receiving the correct advice and support from care services.
“Dementia Friendly Cowbridge are doing fantastic work to support people affected by dementia and I look forward to seeing their progress towards making Cowbridge a dementia friendly community.”
Dementia Friendly Cowbridge was launched in June 2016 to offer social activities and support for older people living with dementia and their carers. They are committed to making Cowbridge an inclusive, dementia friendly community.
Steven Blackman, chairman of Dementia Friendly Cowbridge, was pleased with the event’s success: “We were delighted with the turn out for our second Dementia Friendly Cowbridge Open Day. Twenty different organisations came along to meet people, provide advice and ongoing support and were able to help with over 200 queries on the day. Many visitors to our event commented that they were really surprised and encouraged to see the range of support that is available for those living with dementia.
“Our thanks go to all those who helped on the day, the choirs who performed for us and of course, those who help out every week to help work towards making Cowbridge an inclusive, dementia friendly community.”
Developing age and dementia friendly communities is key to achieving one of the Commissioner’s three priorities – enabling everyone to age well – and her vision to make Wales the best place in the world to grow older. More information about the Commissioner’s priorities are set out in her Strategy that can be found on the Commissioner’s website.