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North Yorkshire Supports Bid to Recruit One Million Dementia Friends


1:16pm 12th February 2013

New Alzheimer’s Society research shows that, 39% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber feel they have a role to play to support people with dementia in their local community, but only 46% feel they have a good understanding of dementia .

Dementia Friends, an initiative being launched by Alzheimer’s Society today, will help a million people make a difference to the lives of people living with dementia.  

Comedians Jo Brand and Meera Syal have become two of the first ever Dementia Friends, as part of the nationwide launch. From today anyone can follow in the footsteps of these Alzheimer’s Society supporters and register online for a Dementia Friend session too.

The Alzheimer’s Society say that through free information sessions, delivered by Dementia Friends Champions, volunteers who talk to people about being a Dementia Friend in their communities, Alzheimer’s Society will give people the know-how to help people with dementia feel understood and included in their local communities. They add that everyday tasks from helping someone struggling to find the right bus to encouraging someone else to become a Dementia Friend or a volunteer will help to build a network across the country.

People with dementia have told the Alzheimer’s Society that they often lose friends and feel isolated. They add that dementia Friends aims to increase dementia awareness and change the way the nation thinks, talks and acts, by recruiting Dementia Friends and Dementia Friend Champions in every community.

The Alzheimer’s Society say that Dementia Friends provides people with the opportunity to play their part and gain an understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia.  They add that a Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action - anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend.

The Alzheimer’s Society say it’s easy to get involved, Dementia Friends Champions will attend a training course, receive ongoing support and be part of a growing network of people creating dementia friendly communities together.

Judith Gregory Interim Area Manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Yorkshire and the Humber says:
‘People with dementia want to remain independent and engaged in their communities by continuing to socialise with their friends and family and be as active as possible.  As the brain gradually shuts down, people with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community which is why the Dementia Friends initiative is of such importance and will help to improve the quality of life for someone living with dementia.

‘We can’t do this alone. By volunteering to become a Dementia Friends Champion you can help spread the word about Dementia Friends in your community. Join Dementia Friends today and help create more communities that are dementia friendly. Go to dementiafriends.org.uk to find out more about Dementia Friends or to volunteer as a Dementia Friends Champion’

The Alzheimer’s Society say this increased understanding and social action is part of a bigger project to help villages, towns and cities across England become places where people with dementia can live without stigma and with the support they need to go about their daily life.

You can find out more at dementiafriends.org.uk or to volunteer as a Dementia Friends Champion’.

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