Waltham forest comes together to help improve the lives of local residents affected by dementia

We are delighted to announce that through the collective effort of Waltham Forest’s Dementia Action Alliance we have been awarded the first step towards making our borough a dementia-friendly place to live. Just a few weeks after the successful launch of the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) we have met the foundation criteria for being a dementia friendly community. This has only been made possible by organisations from across the borough and politicians from all the main political parties working together for the benefit of all those affected by dementia in the borough.

Amongst the many messages of support we have received are these from our MPs, Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith said:
“I am delighted that Waltham Forest is now a dementia friendly community. Dementia is a much-misunderstood condition which affects many people in the local area. Anything we can do to raise awareness of it and create better understanding is a very good thing.”
Stella Creasey said:
‘This is vital work supporting so many residents and their families in Walthamstow- becoming a dementia friendly community is about providing not just awareness but also assistance to all those living with this condition to ensure the best quality of life for all concerned.’

Linda Milton, Chair of the DAA in Waltham Forest said:
“This first step on the recognition process has only been made possible by local organisations coming together to support local people affected by dementia. Here at Waltham Forest Housing Association we have made sure all our employees and Board members are dementia friends, we have looked at all our policies and procedures to ensure they are dementia friendly and now we are working with our external contractors, some of whom are also Dementia Friends, to look at what improvements we can make for tenants. We are embarking on a programme to ensure each time a property has a new tenant that we make the simple changes necessary to make sure the lived-environment can be as dementia friendly as possible. These changes are low cost and benefit all our residents.”

There are 2055 people who are currently living with dementia in Waltham Forest and that figure is set to rise as the population ages. Organisations from all sectors including housing, leisure, local commissioners, health and social care have begun working together for the befit of local people affected by dementia. Successes so far include being recognised as the London borough with the greatest increase in diagnosis rates. Our rate now stands at 70%, made possible by joint working between GP practices, the Memory Clinic staff at Red Oak Lodge and Alzheimer’s Society Waltham Forest.

We still have more to do and you can help! For your organisation to be part of the WF Dementia Action Alliance please contact Linda Milton, Chief Executive of Waltham Forest Housing Association, info@wfha.org.uk

Alzheimer’s Society has a range of services which support people with dementia and their carers in and around Waltham Forest such as our monthly dementia café and a dementia adviser service. For further details contact staff at the Waltham Forest office on 020 8556 8171 or walthamforest@alzheimers.org.uk.