External site: Dementia Friends
External site: Dementia Challenge launched
External site: NHS - Dementia
External site: Alzheimer’s Society
External site: Flickr - photos from the training session
The Prime Minister today became one of England’s first ‘Dementia Friends’ as part of an initiative launched by the Alzheimer’s Society, Department of Health and the Office for Civil Society.
The free volunteer-led information sessions are being rolled out across England. They aim to improve knowledge of dementia by helping people understand what living with the condition might be like, and the small things that they could do to make a difference to people living in their community.
Join the Dementia Friends
The aim is to give one million people a better understanding of dementia by 2015. Sign up to for information sessions at www.dementiafriends.org.uk
This scheme is part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia which includes initiatives to boost early diagnosis, to make wards and care homes more comfortable for people with dementia and help the public to better understand the condition.
There are currently 670,000 people with dementia in England and this is set to double in the next 30 years.
Dementia Friends Champions needed
As well as encouraging people to sign up as Dementia Friends, Alzheimer’s Society is also calling on people to volunteer to be a Dementia Friends Champion.
These are volunteers who talk to people about being a Dementia Friend in their communities. They will attend a training course, receive ongoing support and be part of a growing network of people creating dementia friendly communities together.
There are already 60 Dementia Friend and 30 Dementia Friends Champion sessions lined up across England over the next 3 months, with more due to be announced soon. To sign up and find your nearest session, visit the Dementia Friends site.