Dementia project attracts international interest

Mayor Tage Pettersen (second right) with Duncan MacKay, head of social work development at North Lanarkshire Council, Provost Jim Robertson, Sandra Shafii of the NHS, and older adults services manager Joe McElhom.

Mayor Tage Pettersen (second right) with Duncan MacKay, head of social work development at North Lanarkshire Council, Provost Jim Robertson, Sandra Shafii of the NHS, and older adults services manager Joe McElhom.

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Motherwell is consolidating a global reputation for supporting people with dementia following another high profile visit from overseas.

Earlier this year a delegation from Norway’s national Health Association visited the town to see first-hand the effects of a project to have it recognised as Scotland’s first dementia friendly town centre.

Now Tage Pettersen, the Mayor of the coastal town of Moss in southern Norway, has followed suit by heading to Lanarkshire on a fact finding mission - and even brought a national television crew with him.

The project involved shops, services and businesses signing up to learn about dementia and how they can do simple and practical things that can make an enormous difference.

Moss already shares several characteristics with Motherwell, including a population of 30,000 and a rich industrial heritage.

And during last week’s tour Mayor Pettersen explained he’ll be using what he’s learned in the steel town to forge another similarity across the North Sea.

He said: “This visit is an extremely valuable experience witnessing such dedication in caring for people with dementia.

“In Norway we don’t have a strong organisation like Alzheimer Scotland which tackles concerns about dementia. There is so much we can learn from the example set here.

“I want to take back what I have gathered on this visit and use it to help create dementia friendly communities in Norway using Motherwell as a model.”

Partners involved in the Motherwell project include staff from Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Council.