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Dementia friendly? Local Police awarded, communities unite, but dementia tax looms


Clive Grunshaw and Insp Christina Shorrock (front) DS Andy Doran and Sgt Andy Willis (back)
Clive Grunshaw and Insp Christina Shorrock (front) DS Andy Doran and Sgt Andy Willis (back)
Chris Satori

Police: New initiatives recognised

Lancashire Constabulary has been recognised for its commitment to supporting people living with dementia. The constabulary has developed an overarching action plan which has been approved by Alzheimer’s Society during its United Against Dementia campaign. It has pledged to raise awareness across the force to ensure that staff and officers have a greater understanding of dementia and its effects on individuals and their families.

The constabulary has developed an overarching action plan which has been approved by Alzheimer’s Society during its United Against Dementia campaign.

The plan, which aims to work towards full dementia friendly status, has already included a number of initiatives; delivery of awareness sessions by 20 dementia champions across the force, as well as working with partners to introduce the Guardian Angels/Dementia buddies scheme and the launch of the dementia buddy tag.

Tackling financial abuse and fraud

In addition, it ran a pilot scheme, called the Preston Banking Protocol, whereby staff at eight banks were trained by officers in how to prevent vulnerable adults from becoming victims of financial abuse and fraud. As part of this scheme, Age UK Lancashire also provided dementia training to the bank staff and will be providing further on-going support.

Working with the Dementia Action Alliance, Lancashire Police Geographic Inspectors, alongside multi-agency partners, have also been instrumental in the setting up of dementia friendly communities in Rossendale, Hyndburn, Burnley and Morecambe.

Inspector Christina Shorrock said: “The most common point of contact police officers and staff have with people with dementia is when they are experiencing a crisis. However, they may also be a victim, witness or perpetrator of crime. Effective partnership working and improved knowledge and awareness are key to ensuring an appropriate police response in all situations.

“The action plan is only the start of our activity which will be on-going and is testament to our commitment.”

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw said: "I am delighted to see that the dementia plan is being rolled out across Lancashire Constabulary during Dementia Awareness Week.

"At a time where many key services have been cut, it's important for frontline workers and partners to work together to be able to recognise the signs of Dementia and Alzheimer's.

"One of my key priorities is supporting vulnerable people and victims to prevent them from becoming victims of crime and as a result of this dementia-friendly scheme the key priority is clearly being supported.

"The commitment that Lancashire Constabulary and key partners have shown is fantastic and the action plan is a great initiative."

Giving affected families confidence in the community

Andrew Ball, senior dementia friendly communities officer said: “I am really pleased Lancashire Police has now become our 250th Dementia Friendly Community at Alzheimer's Society. The police play a very important role in keeping people with dementia safe and in turn giving them and their families the confidence to remaining an active part of the community. I look forward to a great partnership and truly Uniting Against Dementia.”

Cat pledges to unite with community against dementia

Labour Parliamentary candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood Cat Smith has pledged to unite with the community against dementia if re-elected on June 8th. The Parliamentary candidate tweeted her support for the campaign during Dementia Awareness Week which took place the week of 16th-20th May.

Speaking on the subject Ms. Smith stated “There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. With the numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025 it is likely that the vast majority of us will know someone with this condition at some stage in our lives. Having previously attended Alzheimer’s Society events in the community and attended one of their courses to become a dementia friend I am delighted to be able to unite with the community in creating a dementia friendly society while we strive towards a dementia free world.”

Dementia tax?

The Labour Parliamentary candidate also criticised the impact which the Conservative Party’s plans for social care would have on people with dementia. The Conservative manifesto included plans to make elderly people pay for care in their own home unless they have less than £100,000 in assets. Following widespread criticism of the proposal the Prime Minister subsequently announced that there would be a cap on lifetime care costs but failed to say at what level the cap would be set.

Speaking on the subject Cat Smith said “The sad reality is that many people with dementia are likely to need a sustained package of care. The Tories’ manifesto proposals therefore seem to represent little more than a tax on dementia. The announcement of a cap on care costs would be welcome however the absence of figure for the cap suggests that on this issue of concern for people across the UK the Prime Minister is simply making it up as she goes along.”

The Labour Party is pledging to increase spending on social care by £8 billion over the course of the next Parliament and move towards a National Care Service. It will seek a cross-party consensus on how this should be funded with options to be considered including wealth taxes, an employer care contribution and a new social care levy.

We haven't been contacted by other candidates about this issue, but we'd be interested in their views.

Dementia-Friendly events at the Dukes

June 12 sees a free storytelling session from 2.30-4pm. No writing experience is necessary for Story Circle led by writer Steve Fairclough. Photographs are used to inspire the imagination and memories to bring characters and stories to life.

The lecture series continues on June 15 with Dianne Smith, Matron for Dementia at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust, with medical, social and local information about the illness and the issues it can raise in daily life. 

On June 19 The Band Wagon screening begins at 2pm and finishes around 4.10pm. Tickets are £4 and carers go free. Tea, coffee and pastries are available in The Dukes Café Bar, free for all ticket holders from 12.30pm, kindly provided by Iceland supermarket.

Find out more about upcoming Dukes' dementia-friendly events at