This challenge is to generate ideas and discuss practical ways we could make York more dementia friendly, to harness our shared experiences and thinking to develop the best initiatives to try here in the city.  We need your help to join forces to tackle the challenge of making our city Dementia friendly for all.  Our open call to collectively generate ideas will be live on the GeniUS site for the next 6 weeks and then we will work with you, ‘the idea generator’ and the most promising ideas to help make them happen in York.

View the Summary and Update for GeniUS! Challenge 5

View the original question and conversation for How do we make York a more dementia friendly place?

However we know that for many people with dementia, the battle is not just about getting a diagnosis and support from the health and social care system, but about  the everyday things we all take for granted - having control over daily life, spending time with friends and family, socialising and enjoying hobbies. These are made difficult by a lack of understanding of dementia in our communities. Communities which are dementia-friendly have more opportunity to support people in the early stages of dementia, maintaining and boosting their confidence and their ability to manage everyday living. By working with and listening to people, the York Dementia Without Walls project is showing how many of the resources and services in a place can be harnessed for the benefit of people with dementia, provided there is sufficient awareness of what dementia means for them, their carers and families, and provided that professional and community networks help people to access the support they need.

One of the desired outcomes is that - building on preliminary work undertaken in 2011/12 - York is recognised as a dementia-friendly city, with tangible improvements in the actions of local agencies, businesses and community groups.  One of the recommendations of the project report (forthcoming end September) is that York should grasp current opportunities to prepare for the future needs of people with dementia including exploiting the potential of technology to improve the lives of people with dementia Current barriers include: 

  • Remembering passwords, pin numbers and registration codes for managing money, paying bills and buying goods and services
  • Equipping people to be safe
  • Understanding  signage, bus routes, timetables and bus stops
  • Accessing information - simple technology such as visual and electronic reminders, or a Dementia ‘App’ specific to the needs of people in York, might help
  • Other people understanding and recognising the needs of those with Dementia and their carers, to make socialising, shopping, eating out and using public transport and other amenities a more enjoyable experience for all involved. 

There are some great ideas around how to make a community dementia friendly here: and many of these ideas could be tried in York if you think they have merit and you could see them working well in our city.   We also need your ideas, based on your experiences living here as well as your powers of creative thinking.

We are hoping to have many Dementia experts, agencies and support groups contributing to the discussion too and we envisage our conversations to be enlightening, positive and solution focussed.  We hope you can join us!

How you can help – MakeItWork

Are you a business, group or individual who could make a difference to the lives of those with dementia in York?

This is your chance to create an outstanding pilot!

We are offering a unique opportunity for an individual or business to pilot their ideas to make York a Dementia Friendly place.

The brief is: To come up with innovative, fresh and exciting ways to make the city more dementia friendly.

For more information read ‘MakeIt Work’ and the Guidance Notes attached.

Join the discussion

More importantly, we want to hear from anyone who has been affected by dementia or anyone who has any thoughts or ideas relating to our challenge. The aim is to provoke discussion on what problems people with dementia and their families face, what solutions are already out there, and what type of solutions are required to make York a more dementia friendly city. Everyone can help.



Guidance Notes for MakeItWork

York Dementia without Walls (DWW)

To find out more about the work The Joseph Rowntree Foundation are doing with DWW take a look at their September newsletter.

GeniUS! York is for anyone and everyone to share ideas on how we can tackle the challenges that York and its inhabitants face.

What is GeniUS York?

This website is for anyone and everyone to share ideas on how we can tackle the challenges that York and its inhabitants face. We want to encourage and develop new and imaginative ways for the city to meet some of its key challenges.

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