The newly elected Mayor of Verwood, Cllr Pat Morrow was guest speaker at the latest Verwood Business meeting at Plane Cuisine on 10 June.
Pat used to run a big community centre in Belfast and said her term in office as mayor would be a ‘community year.’
She is currently spearheading a campaign to get Verwood established as a dementia friendly town and explained that five daytime safety zones have already been put in place.By linking with the Alzheimer’s Society, the council is able to offer free training to every business in the town so that staff can recognise and help anyone with dementia; for instance, if they are lost, confused or anxious.
“If the community can provide help for them, they don’t have to go into a care home too early,” said Pat. She appealed to all Verwood Business members to consider training, or to encourage their staff to do so. “The Head of Nursing at Bournemouth University provides the training and it is only for 50 minutes. We need more people to come on board,” she said.
Verwood currently has 300 dementia patients living in the town and the daytime safety zones are Cranborne and Lake Road Surgery, Verwood Surgery, Waypoints Care Home in Verwood and two Three Legged Cross care homes: Waterloo and Acorn Lodge at Oakdene. These are all safe places that will look after dementia patients for a temporary period.
Pat handed out leaflets to Verwood Business members explaining how they can assist people with dementia and help extend their time in the community by simply being supportive. “We are also working with the police to set up a protocol because the police are the first port of call when someone is found wandering around the town and can’t remember where they live.”
If you have a business in Verwood and would like to help the town become dementia friendly by implementing a training programme for your staff, call 01202 820880.
To join Verwood Business call 01202 979414 or visit www.verwoodbusiness.co.uk
Verwood Business members with the Mayor of Verwood, Pat Morrow (centre)