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Making Tralee more dementia-friendly – the HSE, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and Tralee Chamber Alliance launch a new information card on November 29th.

A new dementia information card which will move Tralee towards becoming more dementia friendly was launched on Friday November 29th.

The Tralee Dementia Friendly Community Information card is an initiative by the Tralee Dementia Friendly Community Forum, an inter-agency group which involves the HSE, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Tralee Chamber Alliance and others.

The Tralee Dementia Friendly Community Information card prompts people to remain in contact with both the person with dementia and their families/carers, it also provides some tips specific to businesses to ensure their environments are dementia friendly.

Some of the tips and advice in the wallet-sized card include

  • Remember a visit can often give the carer a little time to themselves’
  • ‘‘With your help, people with dementia can continue to take part in their local communities. They can go to a GAA match, an ICA meeting, sing in a choir, or whatever they like doing’

Some of the business tips include:

  • ‘Be aware of the environment as background noise can affect communication. A quiet space may be needed for the person to work in’
  • ‘Consider having a no-hurry check out or queue’

The information card provides local contact details and directs people to useful websites, it has been edited by the National Adult Literacy Agency to ensure it meets literacy standards and hence is accessible for all.

These cards will be distributed throughout the businesses in Tralee and provided to the public in various settings in the town.

Michael Fitzgerald, HSE Assistant National Director, Older People and Palliative Care Strategy officially launched the card.

“The Tralee Dementia Friendly Community Information card is a great practical way of raising awareness of dementia and facilitating both the public and business staff to continue to assist people with dementia. It reminds us of the importance of maintaining links with carers and family members and the role that we as the friends and neighbours play in ensuring both the person with dementia and their families are helped to maintain and contribute to an active life in their community. This card, which is compliant with adult literacy guidelines, ensures it is user friendly to all and opens the conversation amongst everyone as to what we can do to support people with memory deficits and dementia to remain living independently and safely in their communities,” he said.

The Tralee Dementia Friendly Community Forum is made up of representatives from the HSE National Office for Services for Older Persons; Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Community Work department; Kerry County Council; an Garda Siochana, the local GAA; and representatives from voluntary and statutory agencies. Family members of people with dementia and local groups for Older Persons are also represented.

The group’s aim is to promote awareness of dementia and to support businesses in their interactions with people with dementia and memory deficits.

The Dementia Friendly Forum encourages everyone to share responsibility for ensuring that people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community. It demonstrates an excellent model of partnership and collaboration and indicates to locals, new residents and visitors that Tralee as a Dementia Friendly Community is welcoming place in which to connect with others and do business

David Scott from Tralee Chamber Alliance commented that they are delighted to be part of this very important initiative. The Business sector in Tralee realise the significance that dementia has for their customers and are very enthusiastic to work with other agencies to play their part in ensuring their customer service is dementia friendly.

Nationally there are approximately 55,000 people living with dementia in Ireland with currently 11 people diagnosed per day.

The HSE website Understand Together website (www.understandtogether.ie) promotes public support awareness and information and advocates that local communities create inclusive environments where people with dementia:

  • are understood, respected and valued
  • can stay socially connected and actively engaged in community life
  • can access local businesses and amenities that are responsive to their needs
  • can navigate the built environment with ease
Download the Information card 

Tralee Dementia Friendly Interagency Group Launch Inclusive Design Guide

There are currently circa 64,142 people with dementia living in Ireland, a number which is estimated to increase significantly over the next 10-20 years. Tralee Dementia Friendly Interagency Group was established in May 2019 with the aim of raising awareness of dementia in Tralee. It is an interagency group with representatives from a wide spectrum of the community including the HSE, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Tralee Chamber Alliance, Kerry County Council, an Garda Siochana, the local GAA, and representatives from voluntary and statutory agencies. Family members of people with dementia and local groups for Older Persons are also represented on the group. Some of the initiatives undertaken by the group include a ‘Tips for Friends, neighbours, businesses and service providers’ information card and dementia awareness and inclusive design training for businesses.

September is World Alzheimers month and to coincide with this Tralee Dementia Friendly Interagency group are publishing a ‘Tips on Inclusive Design’ booklet. This booklet aims to provide tips and advice for the community on ensuring accessibility for everyone including those with dementia and other cognitive and sensory impairments. The booklet provides some useful and easy to implement tips that will enhance the inclusiveness of our community and make it more welcoming for those with memory difficulties. The guide provides tips and advice on how businesses and organisations can examine their physical environment to ensure it is meeting the needs of people with dementia.

David Scott, Tralee Chamber Alliance said ”the booklet is very practical and said businesses will welcome the advice and support in ensuring their businesses/properties are inclusive”.

Michael Fitzgerald, Chief Officer for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare acknowledged the importance of raising awareness around dementia. “The Inclusive Community Booklet is an important step towards achieving a dementia friendly town and initiatives, such as designing inclusive  environments  can support  people  with dementia to remain active in our communities which is integral to maintaining independence.

The Tralee Dementia Friendly Forum encourages everyone to share responsibility for ensuring that people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community. The group encourage everyone to read the booklet both for the information it contains and also as an opportunity to start a conversation about Dementia If you would like more information regards the booklet or inclusive design please contact Catherine Murphy, Occupational therapist in the Memory Technology Resource Room on 0867809989 or by email to Catherine@bailemhuire.ie

Download Inclusive Design Guide 

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