Where: Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Who is involved: Co. Wicklow Network for Older People. Membership of the Network is open to groups, organisations and individuals committed to improving the quality of life of older people.
Nature of activity: Co. Wicklow Network for Older People was set up in 2007 to give older people in Co. Wicklow a voice in decision-making processes at local, regional and national levels. By creating a dementia-friendly Wicklow, this project aims to remove the barriers people face around the lack of knowledge within communities through targeted awareness raising activities. An extensive, countywide programme of educational workshops for retailers, doctors, Active Retirement Associations and Citizen Information Centres has been delivered. Awareness workshops have also been delivered to the police (Gardai).
The project has also developed a number of useful resources for businesses, Gardai, emergency service providers, libraries and financial services. The project is also working towards creating a dementia strategy for the county involving key stakeholders and mapping services available to people currently. A booklet outlining services and supports for people with dementia in the community was developed in partnership with one of the local Citizen Information Centres.
County Wicklow is one of several counties across Ireland that are involved with the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland’s ‘dementia-friendly communities’ initiative (see: http://www.alzheimer.ie/Get-Involved/Dementia-Friendly-Communities.aspx). The other counties and areas with ‘dementia-friendly communities’ initiatives are Galway, Ballina Killaloe, County Mayo, Boithrin na Smaointe, Kilkenny and Mallow in County Cork. This mapping also includes an entry about the Crystal Project in Mallow.
Most importantly, Wicklow Dementia-friendly aims at looking at ways in which communities – neighbours, friends, everyday service providers – can support people with dementia to carry on, as normally as they can, for as long as possible.