Yesterday, the RTPI published its first practice note on "Dementia and Town Planning".
The practice note is only 16 pages long and I cannot recommend reading it strongly enough.
The full report pulls together:
- relevant statistics on demographic change and the prevalence of dementia;
- key planning policy considerations for dementia friendly communities;
- examples of best practice from around the UK; and
- practical advice on relevant planning considerations and how to create a dementia-friendly built environment
In a clear and accessible format, the note highlights the benefits of effective town planning for older members of the community in general and dementia sufferers in particular.
As someone with both professional and personal experience of the difference that a suitable environment can make to the quality of life of people living with dementia, this guidance is not only welcome but long overdue.
Whilst most local plans contain policies about planning for the whole community, very few contain specialist policies dealing with the delivery of suitable housing for older members of the community or those with specialist care needs - such as dementia.
Given that the UK has a rapidly ageing population, this is something that needs to be addressed and addressed quickly. The RTPI's practice note is an extremely helpful starting point for anyone looking at how this could be achieved!
The cost of dementia care will rocket if more is not done to better plan local environments to enable people with dementia to live more independently, the RTPI says today as it publishes its first “Dementia and Town Planning” practice note. The RTPI says that local planning can play a much stronger role in creating dementia-friendly communities across the UK so that people with dementia can continue to stay in their own home for as long as possible, reducing the pressure on the NHS and controlling the costs for health and social care. Only a minority of local authorities have adopted plans that explicitly mention dementia, it says, with Plymouth City Council and Brighton and Hove City Council among the few.