A NEW project has been launched to help people in Christchurch meet the needs of people with dementia.

Dementia action alliance co-ordinator Debbie Horlock helped launch the initiative at the Red House Museum by providing people in the area with information on how best to help people with the condition.

The event featured expert speakers from the Alzheimer’s Society as well as representatives of the police, faith groups, care providers, local government and businesses. Debbie said the aim of the event was to raise as much awareness as possible about dementia and to make Christchurch a more ‘dementia friendly’ community.

“We want to help people live as independently as they can and retain choice and control over their lives,” she added.

“We want to get people to think about small changes they can make which can have a big impact.”

Debbie emphasised the importance of dementia sufferers knowing that people will understand how to deal with them on a day-to-day basis.

She added that it can be seemingly simple things that can prove to be the biggest struggle, such as handling money and using public transport.

A representative from the police also reassured those attending that they too understand the needs of dementia sufferers, in particular when people go missing.

Debbie added: “We need to start with a basic understanding and I think the message is starting to get out there.

“If people are unsure about anything then they can come and visit us.”

Debbie said the response has so far been very positive but is keen for more people and businesses to get involved.

For more information on the project, visit dementiafriends.org.uk or call 07730 287201.