Last week in Parliament I became a ‘Dementia Friend’, signing up in advance of World Alzheimer’s Day on Saturday (21st September).
After completing the Dementia Friends training facilitated by the Alzheimer’s Society, I have also pledged to take action to support the 800,000 people living with dementia across the UK and work to make Oldham a dementia-friendly community for people living with dementia across the borough.
We are an ageing society and we know that in 2010 over 2,300 people in Oldham were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, but it is estimated that this is only half of the actual number. By 2020 this number will have increased by 20%.
I hope as many people as possible will sign up to be Dementia Friends and help with the vision to build a dementia-friendly Oldham.
Dementia Friends is a great initiative because it aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. The Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to have one million Dementia Friends by 2015, to help make England more dementia-friendly and improve the lives of people currently living with the condition.
One in three people over 65 will develop dementia, and it is a health issue that we can no longer afford to ignore. Although we know there are 800,000 people in the UK diagnosed with dementia it’s very likely that there are many more who have not yet been diagnosed.
To find out more about Dementia Friends, visit: www.dementiafriends.org.uk