Dementia Friendly Portsmouth: Our City's Journey and Vision

This journey is about more than just landmarks; it's about understanding, compassion, and collective responsibility. It's about building a Dementia Friendly Portsmouth.

Help Us Build A Dementia Friendly Portsmouth.

In the heart of the historic naval city of Portsmouth, there’s a movement growing stronger each day. With the iconic Spinnaker Tower overseeing our vibrant community, we’re charting a course towards a brighter, more inclusive future for all. This journey is about more than just landmarks and seafronts; it’s about understanding, compassion, and collective responsibility. It’s about building a Dementia Friendly Portsmouth.

Dementia, an umbrella term for a variety of conditions affecting memory, behaviour, and relationships, is becoming increasingly prevalent. Estimates suggest that by 2025, more than one million people in the UK will be living with this complex condition. The pressing question for cities and communities, like Portsmouth, is: how do we adapt, support, and inclusively cater to these residents?

With one in 14 people over the age of 65 living with dementia, the need for awareness, understanding, and supportive infrastructure has never been more crucial. This is the story of how Portsmouth, with the dedicated efforts of organisations like Home Instead Portsmouth and many others, is endeavouring to rise to this challenge. A story that underscores our belief that awareness is just the beginning and that, with commitment and collaboration, we can truly create a Dementia-friendly community in Portsmouth.

Dementia Friendly Portsmouth: The Vision

The vision of a Dementia Friendly community in Portsmouth is not merely about increasing awareness of the condition; it’s about tangible change, impactful initiatives, and forging a community where every individual, regardless of their cognitive health, feels valued, understood, and supported.

A Unified Mission:

Dementia isn’t an isolated challenge; it impacts families, carers, businesses, and the wider community. Recognising this, the city has witnessed a coming together of various organisations, groups, and passionate individuals, all committed to fostering an environment where people with dementia can live life fully, with dignity and confidence.

Collaborative Efforts:

Home Instead Portsmouth has been a driving force in this collaborative effort. From running the ‘Key to Care’ sessions to empowering local residents with knowledge about dementia, their initiatives have aimed at both support and prevention. Their community workshops, held at locations like Boots in Gunwharf and Spark Community Space, offered invaluable advice for those caring for a loved one with dementia and shared techniques to manage the condition at home.

More Than Awareness:

Being dementia-friendly extends beyond mere recognition of the condition. It’s about creating accessible spaces, training staff in public services, introducing dementia-friendly business practices and ensuring that every touchpoint in a person’s daily life can adapt to their unique needs. Home Instead’s vision, aligned with this broader city goal, envisions a ‘dementia-friendly high street’ in the North End. Discussions with local councillors are ongoing, laying the groundwork for a more inclusive commercial and social environment.

Engaging with Culture and Sport:

Dementia Friendly Portsmouth’s vision is holistic. It’s not limited to health and social care but extends to the city’s cultural and sporting life. A highlight of this commitment was when Home Instead Portsmouth teamed up with Portsmouth FC. Ahead of World Mental Health Day, they shone a light on dementia awareness. Bringing members of Home and the Life ‘n’ Chimes project to Fratton Park for a game against Port Vale underscored the city’s pledge to ensure that the joys of sport and camaraderie remain accessible to everyone, irrespective of their health.
In essence, the vision for a Dementia Friendly Portsmouth is dynamic and all-encompassing. It’s about creating a city that doesn’t just respond to dementia but proactively shapes its infrastructure, services, and community interactions to ensure that everyone, including those living with dementia and their families, feels truly at home.

The Role of Home Instead Portsmouth

At the heart of this mission, standing as a beacon of hope and support, is Home Instead Portsmouth. Their role in actualising a Dementia Friendly Portsmouth is immense, and here’s a closer look at their invaluable contributions.

Groundbreaking Initiatives:

The ‘Key to Care’ sessions exemplify Home Instead’s dedication to going the extra mile. These sessions, held at local venues like Boots in Gunwharf and Spark Community Space, provided a safe space for locals to learn about dementia, equipping them with techniques to manage the condition at home. They also extended guidance for those providing care to dementia patients, ensuring they too received the support and knowledge they needed.

Collaborative Endeavours:

It’s one thing to operate as a lone entity and another to be the glue binding various community forces. Home Instead’s collaborations with organisations such as The Lighthouse Group, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Carers Centre, and The You Trust show their commitment to collective betterment. These partnerships have been pivotal in enhancing dementia awareness and fostering an inclusive, knowledgeable environment.

Expanding Horizons:

Home Instead Portsmouth isn’t just limited to care; they’re visionaries. They’ve set the wheels in motion for unique, ambitious projects like a ‘dementia-friendly high street’ in North End. Such an initiative promises to reshape the daily life experience of those with dementia, providing them with a comfortable, supportive environment during outings and shopping.

Embracing Sports and Culture:

A moment that beautifully encapsulates their mission was when Home Instead Portsmouth was invited to watch Portsmouth FC in action at Fratton Park. Teaming up with Pompey in the Community’s Life ‘n’ Chimes project, they not only celebrated the beautiful game but also raised awareness about dementia. Such events are a testament to their approach – one that believes in complete inclusivity, ensuring the happiness and well-being of those with dementia.

Awards and Recognition:

Home Instead Portsmouth’s relentless efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. With accolades such as the Innovation Award, a nomination for The Impact Award at the Dembe Awards, and owner Helen Brown being crowned Women Entrepreneur 2023, they’ve been lauded for their exemplary work.
In conclusion, Home Instead Portsmouth’s role in shaping a Dementia Friendly community in Portsmouth is instrumental. Their commitment, initiatives, and collaborations underline their unyielding drive to ensure that the city of Portsmouth isn’t just aware of dementia but is actively adapting and evolving to provide the best environment for those affected by it.

A Day to Remember: Fratton Park’s Initiative for a Dementia-Friendly Portsmouth

The sounds of cheering fans, the buzz of anticipation, and the rich history of Fratton Park make it an unforgettable experience for football enthusiasts. However, for those living with dementia, visiting such bustling places can often be an overwhelming experience. Recognising this challenge and driven by the spirit of inclusion, Portsmouth FC, together with Home Instead Portsmouth, took a monumental step to ensure the joys of football remained accessible to all.

Celebrating World Mental Health Day:

Coinciding with the significance of World Mental Health Day, which had a theme focused on dementia awareness this year, the football club and Home Instead Portsmouth partnered in a heartfelt initiative. By inviting members of Home and the Life ‘n’ Chimes project to Fratton Park for the game against Port Vale, they sought to spotlight the importance of early diagnosis and awareness. Such steps, they believed, would provide individuals ample time to come to terms with impending symptoms.

Beyond Just Raising Awareness:

The collaboration between Pompey in the Community’s Life ‘n’ Chimes project and Home Instead Portsmouth is not merely about raising awareness; it’s about tangible action. The project works diligently with those who either live with dementia or are at risk of developing it. By organising visits to local theatres, cinemas, bowling alleys, and the dockyard, they ensure that participants remain socially active, combating feelings of isolation that often accompany dementia.

The Match Day Experience:

For many, the day Home Instead Portsmouth was invited to watch the game where Portsmouth beat Port Vale at Fratton Park will remain etched in memory. Not just for the victory and the thrill of the game, but for the powerful statement it made. It was a day where a beautiful game and a noble cause came together, exemplifying what a community can achieve when it stands united. Helen, from Home Instead Portsmouth, perfectly captured the sentiment, stating, “We don’t want anyone to miss out on the joy the beautiful game brings, so to know that we are facilitating our match day experience to be family-friendly for all ages, makes me proud.”

Creating a Ripple Effect:

Initiatives like the one at Fratton Park serve as a catalyst. They remind us of the power sports hold in bridging gaps and fostering community spirit. Moreover, by taking such a step, Portsmouth FC and Home Instead Portsmouth have set a precedent, highlighting how sports venues can be more inclusive, thereby promoting the broader vision of a Dementia Friendly Portsmouth.
In sum, the Fratton Park initiative is a testament to what is possible when passion meets purpose. It’s a reminder that sports, and football in particular, transcend beyond goals and victories. They have the power to bring people together, create memories, and most importantly, make everyone feel included, irrespective of their challenges.

The Road to a Dementia-Friendly Portsmouth

Home Instead Portsmouth’s relentless efforts epitomise this endeavour. Their workshops, community engagements, and collaborations with institutions like Fratton Park highlight a holistic approach to dementia care. By fostering an environment where dementia awareness is commonplace, the city moves closer to becoming a space where every resident, irrespective of their challenges, can live with dignity and joy.

The road ahead is promising. With ongoing projects like the ‘Key to Care’ sessions and potential plans like a dementia-friendly high street, the vision is expansive. These endeavours, combined with the advocacy and community-driven initiatives of Home Instead Portsmouth, create a blueprint for other cities to follow.
As we approach World Mental Health Day, it’s essential to recognise that awareness is the first step. Collaborative efforts, such as the partnership between Home Instead Portsmouth and Pompey in the Community’s Life ‘n’ Chimes project, amplify this awareness, ensuring it translates into tangible action.
To end, the path to a Dementia Friendly Portsmouth is illuminated with hope, resilience, and collaboration. It’s a city striving to not just understand dementia but to embrace and support those living with it. And with each passing day, thanks to endeavours like those of Home Instead Portsmouth, the vision becomes clearer, bringing the dream of a fully inclusive Portsmouth closer to reality.