Charity Recruits Millionth Dementia Friend

The Alzheimer’s Society have announced that their Dementia Friends scheme has successfully reached its target of a million recruits.

The initiative was created two years ago with the initial aim of signing up a million people from communities across the UK.

Schools, colleges, businesses and other organisations arrange meetings and events where individuals can sign up to become a Dementia Friend. They are educated about the signs and symptoms of the condition and the things they can do to help sufferers.

Macks Solicitors’ Wills and Probate experts Lynda Monks and Kerry Brundall have both become Dementia Friends to help them in their dealings with older clients.

Kerry said: “I am proud to be a Dementia Friend. The course provides an invaluable insight of what it’s really like to have dementia. I certainly have more understanding of how challenging it is to care for a loved one with dementia.”

The Carers Trust charity welcomed the Dementia Friends’ milestone but warned that carers need more support and information to be able to effectively help those suffering from dementia, while remaining well themselves. Two-thirds of sufferers live in their own homes and are cared for by their children or spouses.

The Alzheimer’s Society have also recently launched their 2015 election manifesto, “The Dementia Promise”. It is hoped that the 12-point manifesto will create a better diagnosis process, a better provision of care and a dementia-friendly society.

Actions on the manifesto include a national awareness campaign funded by the government and increased government spending on dementia research.

They also wish to see the development of a national action plan for dementia.

The charity warn that by the end of next parliament there will be more than a million people in the UK living with dementia. There are an estimated 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK currently and many cases are yet to be diagnosed.

The Alzheimer’s Society highlight the importance of a formal diagnosis in order for the suitable support, information and treatments to be given to a sufferer. They estimate that two in five of all cases of the disease remain undiagnosed.

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