Labour Councillors are taking proposals to the next Full Council meeting (7 April) which are aimed at fostering a more ‘dementia-friendly’ community in Brighton & Hove and ensuring the Council does more to support those suffering with dementia.
The Labour Group want to see a commitment to long-term funding for the public health ‘Dementia Friendly’ project, an assessment of public buildings and open spaces to ensure they are dementia friendly, and the appointment of Dementia Champions at the Council.
There are over 1800 people diagnosed with dementia living in Brighton & Hove, and potentially many more living undiagnosed, and a 2021 parliamentary report acknowledged the ‘bureaucratic maze’ that is the care system that patients and carers must navigate at their most vulnerable, and that ‘much progress is still needed’ in dementia care.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, developing ‘dementia friendly communities’ means encouraging everyone to share responsibility for ensuring people with dementia feel understood, valued, and able to contribute to their community.
Improving public health and fostering a city of health and wellbeing is at the heart of Labour’s policy objectives, and at the upcoming Council meeting they will also be proposing a ban on junk food advertising.
Labour’s chair of the Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee, Cllr Clare Moonan, said:
“There are likely thousands of people living with dementia in Brighton & Hove, and we must do all we can to ensure they are supported in going about their daily lives.
“We welcome the work the Council is already doing, such as signing up to the Alzheimer’s Society ‘Dementia Friendly Communities’ programme, but there is more we can do and more that we must do.
“We should be working more closely with local dementia groups, working with the NHS to improve diagnostic rates, and making dementia-awareness training mandatory for all Council staff in public-facing roles.”