What is dementia? An umbrella term used to describe conditions in the brain that affect our ability to: THINK REASON REMEMBER Can affect anyone at any age – incidence higher in older population Most common – Alzheimer’s disease
What is a ‘dementia-friendly community?’ “A dementia friendly community can be defined as being one in which it is possible for the greatest number of people to live a good life with dementia.” (Milton, 2012)
Our Study: Qualitative study aimed at seeking the perspectives of people with dementia 27 participants from within Christchurch city They told us what they felt would make for a dementia-friendly Christchurch
Education and Awareness Providers of local businesses and community services showed good understanding Need for more education and greater awareness from health providers
Community Services Cafes and restaurants – good awareness Malls – some experiences not so good Taxi Phones at Pak ‘n’ Save – Great!
Health and Social Care Services NGO’s doing well Care Homes fail to meet needs and allow for preferences – need for engagement, purpose and role identity, part of community Emergency services showed good understanding In-patient units, GP practices – faired poorly
Networks Impact of 2011 earthquake on eastern suburbs – no longer know neighbours Wigram support group and befriending service Internet – social networks Ability for PWD to provide support to others
Buildings and Design Shopping malls – overwhelming, floors “look like glass”, noisy, smell of fast-food disliked, public toilets hard to find Stopped people from going out alone Want a modern city
Transport Taxi services – very good (half- price vouchers for PWD highly valued) Bus services – mixed opinions: some drivers helpful – others gave little time, would not lower bus for people with walking aids City centre bus stop locations made navigation difficult Lack of enclosed bus shelters Road signage – poor post earthquake (colour changes inconsistent and unhelpful)
Access to Information Internet increasingly popular with older people Social networking sites very useful, e.g. Facebook and Grown-Ups Families want to be kept informed when PWD in hospital wards Information given upon request – not enforced
Leisure Many participants ceased participation: due to embarrassment, too slow, nobody to support them Some wanted to try something new Most wanted an opportunity to resume hobbies, e.g. golf, fishing, dancing
Outdoor Environments Need to access the outdoors Want to be part of the community “Biggest fear is never having a chance to get outside again” Be in touch with nature Visit Botanic Gardens Need for quiet spaces
Safety Safe neighbourhood Don’t want to be “tricked” Police presence Safe pedestrian crossing points Cul-de-sacs Safe, uncomplicated footpaths and floor surfaces
Benefits of a Dementia-Friendly Model Includes everyone: people with dementia, physical and sensory disabilities, mental health problems, people with young children, international visitors Opportunities for budding designers, architects, technological advances – keep Kiwis in NZ and in Christchurch Consider future Human Rights Legislation Recognise people who made Christchurch a great city in the first place
Luton is going to be the first dementia- friendly city in the world Yeah Right!
Contact details: Karen Smith – Clinical Research Nurse The Centre for Brain Research, University of Auckland firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 64+ 09 923 7884