Prime Minister David Cameron has met with the dementia friendly communities champion group in London.
The group is one of three champion groups set up as part of the dementia challenge to explore how to deliver its key aims of creating dementia friendly communities, improving dementia research and improving health and care.
The meeting was co-chaired by Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Angela Rippon and Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive. Members of the group include industry leaders, representatives from towns and cities, and people with dementia and their carers.
The dementia friendly communities champion group would like people to give their views on how to create dementia friendly communities on the dementia challenge website launched today.
The Prime Minister said:
‘Dementia is a terrible, heartbreaking disease - and tackling it is a personal priority of mine. Two months ago I promised that we’d lead an all-out, national fight-back against dementia - and it’s happening. We’re putting more money into research and more thought into dementia care.
‘This is a whole-society problem and it needs a whole-society response. That’s why we are connecting thousands of socially engaged young graduates from National Citizen Service with opportunities to make a difference with old people in their community.
‘We’re also encouraging more businesses to join this fight-back. I’m delighted to see the progress being made here. Already 20 big organisations like Lloyds Group, Tesco and E.ON have signed up to become more dementia friendly - and over the coming months I want to see many more follow suit.’
Angela Rippon said:
‘Over the past few weeks I have been meeting with a whole range of people and talking to them about how important it is that we face up to the dementia challenge. The response I have had has been incredible and it is truly inspirational to have so many major organisations working together to tackle this issue head on. Joint action like this is essential if dementia friendly communities are to become a reality.
‘There are 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK. This Dementia Awareness Week is the perfect time to remember the person behind the dementia diagnosis.’
Further programmes announced today include:
- £800,000 funding from the Social Action Fund for Circle, a new service transforming the provision of older people’s services.
- An e-learning package to train health and social care staff in recognising, assessing and managing dementia and how to provide high quality dementia care. The content is divided for those who need to be dementia ‘aware’ (all staff), those who need to be dementia ‘trained’ and those who need to be dementia ‘expert’. The package will be available free online within weeks from the Department of Health and the first module, on general dementia awareness, is relevant to anyone working in a public environment, such as shops, transport and banks.