Mayor of West Yorkshire progresses pledge to help those with dementia

Tracy Brabin reaffirms her commitment to ensure older people's housing and related services are dementia friendly

In a visit to a Bradford care home Fern House this week, West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin reaffirmed her commitment to ensure older people's housing and related services are dementia friendly.

This work is being delivered through the Mayor’s Dementia Ready Taskforce, to address any gaps in support for people living with dementia in West Yorkshire.

The taskforce was established in March 2022 and includes local authorities, housing providers, the NHS, and charities from across the region. A recent report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People is guiding the work. The mayor’s visit to Fern House forms part of her work to understand the impact dementia has on housing needs and the scale of what needs to be done in West Yorkshire.

The mayor has made a commitment to ensure that people with dementia have the quality of housing they need to keep them safe, and to live well independently for as long as possible.

As part of the visit, the mayor met with members of the task force, including the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership, and representatives from the Department of Health & Social Care and the Abbeyfield Society to discuss further ambitions. This will help develop a dementia-ready housing strategy for West Yorkshire.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said:

“I was touched to visit Fern House this week where I saw the passion and dedication of staff. Dementia is such a cruel disease, which puts a great deal of stress and anguish on people and their families.

“That is why when I became Mayor, I pledged to do what I can to ensure people living with dementia are cared for with support, dignity, and respect.

There’s still work to do, but I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in bringing together the knowledge and experience of local experts, including housing providers and care professionals.

Tracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire

Yvonne Castle, member of West Yorkshire Housing Partnership and Chair of the Dementia Task Force said: 

“As a Partnership we’re delighted to help take this important piece of work forward to look at the provision of dementia friendly housing and related services in West Yorkshire.

“We’re working closely with housing, health and social care partners across the region and it’s our aim to create a West Yorkshire wide dementia strategy. Having the right support and housing in place is vital because it can enable people with dementia to stay safe and to live independently for longer.” 

Abdul A Ravat, Abbeyfield’s Head of Development & Relationships, had the following message:  

“It has been a privilege for Abbeyfield The Dales Society to host this important visit and showcase Fern House as a real example of a dementia-friendly facility in West Yorkshire.

“We are delighted to have welcomed Tracy Brabin, the first female Metro Mayor, and members of her Dementia Task Force, as well as representatives from the Department of Health & Social Care and West Yorkshire Housing Partnership.

“Such localised and national collaboration is critical to address the challenges that dementia poses to our society and to tackling potential future causes of loneliness.

“Housing and care providers need to consider how they can maintain family connections, be inclusive and give more consideration to wider social and cultural networks in the communities that people live in and increase our collective capacity to support people living with dementia, both now and in the future.

“This is a critical issue impacting many people, not just in West Yorkshire but across the globe, now and in the future and one we believe must be addressed. We hope our visitors took lots of inspiration from today’s gathering.”

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