A groundbreaking new project being piloted through the Creggan Healthy Living Centre is aiming to make Derry a “dementia friendly city.”
The Derry Engaging and Empowering Dementia project (DEED) will have its official launch in the summer but the DEED butterfly will introduce itself to the city next week, with pride of place on Free Derry Corner during Dementia Awareness Week.
DEED project coordinator Una Hume says staff will have a visible presence in local communities in the coming weeks informing people about their work. The overall aim of the project is to educate individuals, businesses and local groups on how to better support members of the public who have Dementia.
“There’s a misconception about Dementia that it’s something which only affects people who are very elderly and in nursing homes. Those people are very far along in the illness and only represent a third of those who suffer with Dementia. The rest are people who live in our communities. Those are the people we’re targeting. We want those people to be able to continue to be able to continue to do things like going to the shop, or going to restaurants without being responded to negatively.
“Our objective is to work with people who deal with members of the public to make sure that those services continue to be accessible to people with Dementia who want to continue with their normal lives for as long as possible.”