First local dementia-friendly app developed in Salford

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THE SALFORD Way is a recently developed app that helps people with dementia and their carers find dementia-friendly businesses in Salford.

The app is the first local directory application that gives people with dementia, carers and families the help needed in their daily lives to restore independence.

It was developed by Salford CVS and Salford Dementia Action Alliance to help create a friendlier and more welcoming environment towards people who have been diagnosed.

“We came together and we saw a gap. There were no businesses engaged in the Dementia Action Alliance, so we thought, ‘How could we get them involved?’

“We thought about what’s a two-way sort of communication, and we came up with the app,” said Lesmond Taylor, development worker at Salford CVS.

The Salford Way provides a guide for shops, services, and businesses in the city that have undergone training to be more safe and welcoming towards people who live with the disease.

“I was diagnosed at 55, and there was nothing in Salford for younger people living with dementia, so after two months of being very depressed, I decided that we needed to change,” said Joy Watson,  ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society.

Mrs Watson and her husband Tony Watson help Salford CVS train and businesses that apply to be part of The Salford Way.

The process includes having “Dementia Friends sessions” where they chat with the staff and teach them more about how to approach and serve people with dementia.

Adapting the environment so it is safe for different symptoms is also a big part of training.

Mr Watson described the meaning of the sessions: “The Dementia Friends Information Sessions consist of, basically, an interactive session. […] It’s basic information about how some furnishings can be difficult for someone living with dementia. […] But also more understanding, more patience.”

The Salford Way is bringing about a positive change in the Salford community.

“If more people come in that are living with the same things, it creates a community,” said Gordon Conway, who works in Malaga Drift Coffee Co. Ltd., one of the businesses involved with the app.

“…everyone thinks differently. Even if they don’t live with dementia, we’re still getting very different results for the people. And that was an eye-opener,” he said.

Mr Taylor says there are further plans to develop the app, such as adding a calendar for future related events, and an emergency button for people who have gotten lost.

The Salford Way is free across smartphone and tablet platforms.

 

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