PLANS to turn Johnstone into a dementia-friendly town have taken a step forward.

The Johnstone Dementia Friendly Community Group hopes to help local businesses understand the needs of people living with the condition and their carers.

Founder Karen McShane, 62, believes the town can take inspiration from neighbouring Lochwinnoch, which already has ‘dementia friendly’ status.

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“So many people think that, once you’ve got dementia, life is over – but it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Karen, who owns the Forget Me Not store in Johnstone’s High Street.

“We can do more to help. People shouldn’t have to apologise or be embarrassed about the way they or others act because of the illness.”

Karen believes it will take a year to gain dementia friendly status.

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She added: “This is a big challenge and it needs members of the community to support me in any way they can.

“I am open to ideas and hope to hold a public meeting soon.”

For more information or to offer your support, call Karen on 0770 318 3653.

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