HALSTEAD residents are set to benefit from a new project which aims to make the town more dementia-friendly.

One in 14 people over the age of 65 are living with dementia and these numbers are increasing sharply because people are living longer.

A number of care organisations, supported by Alzheimer’s Society, have now come together to launch a dementia-friendly project in the town.

The aim is to boost understanding of the illness.

Home Instead Braintree, Care UK and Dementia Friendly Communities, under the banner ‘the Halstead Dementia Friendly Community’, have sent invitations out to 70 organisations in the area, urging them to join the initiative’s launch event.

Halstead already has similar projects in the town, such as the Dementia-friendly Choir.

The town has now been approved as a dementia-friendly community by the Alzheimer’s Society, which paves the way for the Halstead Dementia-Friendly Community to work with businesses, organisations and groups, and award them ‘working to become dementia-friendly’ recognition.

The organisations say it is about raising awareness and understanding of dementia so people living in the community with the illness can live the way they want.

Mike Sheehy, of Home Instead, said: “As our population ages, there are more and more people living with one form of dementia or other.

“As a community there is so much we can do to support these people to continue living independently.

“Dementia is often little understood. By learning about the condition, and how best to interact with a person who is living with the disease, we can improve lives for everyone.

“Across the country, many communities are coming together, and I hope that we can make a huge success of this initiative here in Halstead.”

The launch event for the initiative is being held at Queen’s Hall in Halstead on Monday, October 9, at 5.30pm.

Anyone interested in attending the event can email mike.sheehy@braintree.homeinstead.co.uk.