Be dementia-friendly: Motherwell and Prestwick
This detailed case study of the work is effectively a toolkit for any community which wants to become dementia friendly. It explains how Motherwell went about it, with useful lessons for any other town thinking of doing the same thing. Key things to remember are that making a town centre ‘dementia friendly’ involves design of the physical environment, so people can navigate and move around comfortably; and also awareness, so shopkeepers and others know to recognise and support people living with dementia.
In Prestwick, Dementia Friendly Prestwick has been doing a lot of work in the town to make it more inclusive. It’s a local charity, set up by local people, to help people living with dementia and their carers to continue being part of the community and live as individuals. The organisation works to raise awareness, improve infrastructure, and lay on additional services.
Activities include a weekly walk along the promenade, where the chat is as important as the walk for people who are isolated. Paths for All has been providing support to help improve the promenade itself so that it’s more inclusive for everybody in the community.
There are no hard and fast rules for making an outdoor space more dementia friendly and accessible, but Paths for All’s dementia-friendly design toolkit and other information on this page are a great starting point. A lot of the design tricks are very simple: for example, clear use of colour, and make seats look like seats! This means that dementia-friendly design is good for lots of people, not just people who live with dementia: young children and families, visually impaired people or anybody with a learning or mobility disability can all benefit.
- Alzheimer Scotland offers useful support for setting up dementia friendly communities from their experience across Scotland.
- Life Changes Trust offers an online Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit.
- Paths for All offers a dementia-friendly design toolkit and information on dementia-friendly environments and walking.
- Visit Scotland offers a dementia-friendly tourism guide for businesses as part of their Inclusive Tourism Toolkit.