A Birmingham politician is backing the Alzheimer’s Society’s initiative, Dementia Friends which aims to create more support and awareness for those living with Dementia.
Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe met with campaigners to find out more about what can be done in local communities to support people with dementia and was shocked to learn that dementia costs the economy more than cancer, stroke and heart disease combined. Campaigners told Steve that the dementia challenge isn’t just for national government and the NHS; it is local action that will make the biggest change and that’s where Dementia Friends comes in.
Dementia Friends works to encourage people to provide practical help to people in their local communities who have Dementia, this ranges from helping someone to find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society wants to create a network of 1 million Dementia Friends across England by 2015; the goal is to make communities more dementia friendly and inclusive.
Less than half of people living with dementia say they feel part of their community and often many people with dementia need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and want to feel included in their local community. Dementia Friends gives people an understanding of dementia and the small things that they can do to make a difference to people living with dementia.
Steve said: “It is important that people living with dementia get the right support and care from their local communities which is why I am backing the Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign to encourage more people to sign up to becoming a Dementia friend. With thousands of people living with this hidden disease the Dementia Friends initiative is a great way to improve people’s understanding of dementia and its effects.”
For more information on how you can get involved visit: http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk