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!