A RAYLEIGH councillor is working in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society to make Rayleigh a ‘Dementia Friendly Town’.
Elizabeth Brewer has been working with fellow Lib Dem Town Councillors Sarah Jane Page and Bruce Smart to raise awareness of the problems and where possible, make things easier for those living with dementia and their carers.
Ms Brewer told Rayleigh & Eastwood News: “One in three people will be diagnosed with dementia at some stage.
“This illness impacts all our lives in one way or another. It’s not just an elderly disease, the youngest person in Essex to be diagnosed was a 10-year-old.”
One of the key areas of concern is the parking for disabled ‘blue badge’ holders, who have to pay for parking in disabled spaces in the Council’s car parks.
This leaves an additional problem of Dementia carers having to go to get a ticket, while leaving their vulnerable person waiting in the car, with the possibility of them walking off.
Ms Brewer campaigned with Council Lib Dem Group Leader James Newport to make disabled spaces in Council car parks free for disabled blue badge holders.
She said: “Unfortunately, that wasn’t accepted by the Conservative ruling group, but the Council is now bringing forward a 3-hour free parking for the disabled and their carers which, although rather watered down, is a move in the right direction.”
Ms Brewer described some of the other areas she has been working on to help people in Rayleigh living with dementia: “We have been assisting local groups and holding ‘dementia friends’ meetings – open to all residents.
“We need local people, retailers, businesses and our Councils to all work together to improve daily life for these vulnerable people and their hard-working carers.”
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