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Dementia and Town Planning

Posted: 1st February 2017

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has published new practice advice highlighting the vital role that town planning plays in dementia care in the UK, helping to reduce pressure on the NHS and controlling the costs for health and social care.

The RTPI Dementia and Town Planning practice note gives advice on how good planning can create better environments for people living with dementia, ensuring public spaces and buildings help them to live independently and well for longer.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, said: “The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia states that by 2020 we would wish to see an increased number of people with dementia being able to live longer in their own homes, with a greater focus on independent living. This will be achieved only with greater support in people's own homes from trained professionals, and by improving the homes and the local environment to ensure they are as helpful and barrier-free as possible. I encourage all concerned to take the RTPI’s useful advice on board and support those with dementia to live the lives they want to".

Trudi Elliott, RTPI Chief Executive, said: “Careful and often small decisions on the location and design of public spaces, new housing and transport make a huge difference on our quality of life, but especially on older citizens and those living with dementia. Given the escalating scale and costs of ageing and poor health in the country, it is vital that local authorities maximise the potential of planners and good planning in supporting health and social care policies, reducing costs and improving lives.

There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. This is set to increase to 1 million by 2021 and to 2 million by 2051 (Source: Alzheimer's Society).

The policy context applies to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the principles of good practice are applicable wherever you work. The note summarises expert advice, outlines key planning and health policy, and highlights good practice case studies including those from Plymouth City Council, Worcestershire County Council, Bradford Face it Together Group, Hogeweyk Dementia Village, Netherlands, and Kirriemuir Connections and Angus Council.

You can download the full report here.