People in Wolverhampton can now get dementia help and support at the touch of a button thanks to the launch of high tech "smart posters".

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They feature Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, enabling people with smartphones to either tap the NFC icon or scan a QR code and be instantly linked to websites packed with useful information about dementia.

The posters were developed by the University of Wolverhampton's IT Futures team following a successful bid to the Public Health Transformational Fund by the university and the City of Wolverhampton Council.

Three different posters have been produced, including one for members of the public offering links to information and videos about dementia as well as details of the six Dementia Cafes in Wolverhampton and local support providers.

A second is aimed at service providers including retailers, businesses and other organisations and features links to guides to improving support for, and communication with, customers with dementia, and information about the Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance, a partnership of local organisations committed to improving services for people living with dementia in the city.

The third poster is for clinical practitioners and other healthcare professionals and provides links to useful resources, Wolverhampton's Joint Dementia Strategy and details of national initiatives around dementia.

All three also include a link to the Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Friends programme, where people can sign up to become a Friend by completing a short awareness raising activity to help them better understand the needs of people living with dementia.

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "These posters will soon be on display at locations around Wolverhampton and have a really important role to play in raising awareness about dementia, and giving people easy access to crucial information about, and support for, the condition.

"It will not only benefit people living with dementia and their carers, but also help local business, community organisations and service providers improve the way they help and support people living with dementia.

"I'd like to thank the IT Futures team at the University of Wolverhampton for their excellent work in developing these posters, which are just one of the many things the council and its partners are doing to make Wolverhampton a Dementia Friendly Community.

"I am proud that we are creating a city which shows a high level of awareness and understanding of dementia, especially across the commercial and retail sectors, so that the 3,600 people living with the condition in Wolverhampton are able to feel part of their community and are encouraged to seek help and support."

Jon Crockett, Visiting Professor of Health Management and Leadership at the University of Wolverhampton, said: "We are pleased to have been able to work with the council and the Dementia Action Alliance on the development of these smart posters.

"A key part of being a Dementia Friendly Community is raising awareness of the condition among businesses and the general public and ensuring that as a city we are able to provide services which meet the needs of people living with dementia."

The smart posters will be displayed in council buildings, libraries, shops, GP surgeries, New Cross Hospital, schools, selected retailers and banks and other businesses around Wolverhampton. To access the links within the posters, people should download a free QR reader or NFC app to their smartphone, available from their app store.

The success of the scheme will be evaluated by Angela Clifford, a postdoctoral researcher in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing at the University of Wolverhampton. By looking at how well the posters are used and getting feedback from users, they can be improved and the project expanded wider across the city in the future.

The posters were officially unveiled on Friday (20 May, 2016) at a Dementia Awareness Week tea party for 60 people living with the condition hosted by the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Barry Findlay, during which a cheque for £632 was presented to the Alzheimer's Society, the proceeds of a Denim for Dementia day at the City of Wolverhampton Council where staff were encouraged to wear denim in exchange for a donation to the charity.

  • released: Monday 23 May, 2016