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Cwmgelli Lodge secures Dementia Friendly Community status

Cwmgelli Lodge secures Dementia Friendly Community status

photo of staff at Cwmgelli Lodge Staff at Gwalia and Seren’s Cwmgelli Lodge have credited the people of Blackwood for their help in ensuring the flagship dementia facility secured the Dementia Friendly Community status, at an event held on March 4th.

Wales’ first care home for younger people with dementia was developed by Seren in partnership with Gwalia and has officially been recognised as a Dementia Friendly Community by the Alzheimer’s Society.

The state-of-the-art care home provides those people with early onset dementia (aged over 50) with a real alternative to a traditional older person’s care home.

To receive the award Cwmgelli Lodge had to show what steps they have taken to raise awareness and promote understanding of dementia within the community. They were asked to show how they gave those with dementia a voice and help to identify what is working and what needs to be improved.

Staff at Cwmgelli worked tirelessly with the local community and immediate neighbours to provide dementia training and to illustrate how the specialist facility is helping younger people with dementia lead the lives they want to.

Amanda Davies, Seren Group Chief Executive, said Gwalia and Seren’s partnership is already having a positive impact on supporting younger people with dementia in the South Wales Valleys.

She said “We are absolutely delighted to receive this acccolade on behalf of staff and our local community who have contributed to making our vision of becoming a Dementia Friendly Community a reality. It is a real team effort and we are very proud of what has been achieved in such a short space of time”.

“The first Cwmgelli Lodge residents moved in just before Christmas and  feedback on the impact the specialist accommodation is already having on residents has been extremely positive.”

Research suggests that there are more than 40,000 younger people (those aged between 50 and 65) with dementia in the UK. Cwmgelli Lodge was developed in response to this high level demand for a specialist provision in the South Wales Valleys region.

The care manager of Cwmgelli Lodge Carole Rees-Williams (pictured receiving the award) said the DFC award is a physical reminder of how quickly Cwmgelli Lodge found its place within the local community.

“Our neighbours have been brilliant,” she said. “They have been great supporters from the very beginning. They’ve supported us at open days and local awareness initiatives and more importantly undertook dementia training to gain a greater understanding of the challenges that face our residents on a daily basis. Cwmgelli was already established within the community, but we can now say that we are a close-knit dementia friendly community which is having a positive impact on the lives of those we support.”

Cwmgelli Lodge offers younger people with dementia support tailored to their specific needs based on engagement and enablement service model.

The facility, when fully operational, will provide respite and longer term placements for 24 people in spacious dementia friendly specialist accommodation. Residents benefit from a number of facilities including an activities area, visitors café and spa bath for relaxation.  Residents will be supported to access the local community.

Executive Director of Customer Care Services for Gwalia Richard Davies said community interaction benefits those with dementia greatly.

He said: “The support from the local community in helping us secure the Dementia Friendly Community is greatly appreciated and I would like to thank everyone involved for their help.” 


Pictured: L to R Kerry Phelps from the Alzheimer’s Society, Carole Rees-Williams and Joanna Jordan, Director of Mental Health, NHS Governance and Corporate Services.