Labour-led Islington Council has been supporting Dementia Action Week (21-27 May) this week by delivering dementia awareness sessions in the borough.
Last year, Islington Labour councillors pledged to make the Council dementia-friendly, to ensure that people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community. Since then, the Council has been exploring how it can further raise awareness of and support people affected by dementia.
Cllr Janet Burgess, Executive Member for Health and Social Care, says:
“Dementia Action Week is an important opportunity to reflect on how we can best help people who are affected by this terrible disease.
“Islington Labour firmly believes there must be a genuine parity of esteem between physical and mental health services, including those supporting people with dementia. We are also continuing to campaign for the NHS, one of this country’s proudest achievements, to remain publically owned and publically accountable.
“I know what it is like to live with dementia. My husband was diagnosed five years ago. It has been a difficult journey and the support of friends, family and the Alzheimer’s Society has been invaluable. The Society runs the local Cecelia’s Café and Singing for the Brain sessions, which are excellent sources of support for people with dementia and their families. This is in addition to our excellent community centres and day centres.”
Around 1,030 people aged 65 and over in Islington have been diagnosed with dementia. An estimated further 293 people have the disease but have not been diagnosed, meaning they struggle to access appropriate support.
The Council is exploring how it can further improve diagnosis rates in the borough. The rate of people with dementia to be diagnosed in Islington is the highest in London at 77.83%, meaning more people who are affected by dementia can receive the advice and support they need.
As the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to rise over the next twenty years, the number of people with dementia will also increase. Islington Labour is firmly committed to helping all residents lead healthy and independent lives, so public health campaigns about the importance of a healthy diet and a regular exercise will be more important than ever.
Pictured – Cllr Janet Burgess, Executive Member for Health and Social Care