Dementia Friends Initiative Launched

Many of us take for granted how easy it is to do everyday things like shop, visit the bank or take part in our favourite hobby. But people with dementia face many obstacles to these seemingly straightforward tasks. Previously well-known routes can become foreign, bus timetables can become unworkable, money transactions confusing, and social groups daunting.

As the brain function diminishes, people with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives so that they can live independently for as long as possible.

Alzheimer’s Society research found that nearly two thirds of people with dementia feel lonely, and almost half reported losing friends following their diagnosis. With one in three people over 65 developing dementia, it’s vital we change this picture. We know people generally don’t want or mean to turn their backs on people with dementia. However, if they don’t understand why or how a person with dementia may need support, it’s much more difficult for them to provide it.

In November, the Prime Minister, David Cameron , outlined plans to recruit “Dementia Friends.”  People will be educated in free sessions in church halls and workplaces on how to detect  tell-tale signs of the condition and provide support to family, friends and colleagues.  The hope is that the initiative will also help the public understand the illness.

 

By giving people a new level of understanding and awareness, Dementia Friends aims to empower people to make a difference. Dementia Friends aims to make everyday life better for people with dementia by changing the way the nation thinks, talks and acts. By 2015, the aim is for there to be a million people with the know-how to help people with dementia feel understood and included in their community. From giving a helping hand to someone struggling to get on the right bus, to volunteering, to encouraging someone else to become a Dementia Friend, no action is too big or too small.

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