The aim of ‘Dementia Friends’ is to sign up people who wish to learn about dementia.
There are probably close to one million people living with dementia in the UK. There are probably also somewhere in the region of a hundred different causes of ‘dementia’.
These diseases of the brain cause problems in thinking – not necessarily memory, could be language, planning, complex visual perception, attention, decision making, distorted ideas.
Sadly, there’s a lot of misinformation about dementia.
This initiative from the Alzheimer’s Society, supported by Public Health England, is a remarkable initiative from the current Government to educate the general public on dementia. With greater education, it is hoped, barriers in society which lead to stigma and discrimination might be broken down.
Stigma is particularly significant, as stigma can lead to social isolation.
I will be giving an information session at BPP Law School on 14 August 2014, at 3.45 pm. On the day, you’ll need to ask the main Reception which room we’re in.
Whilst I am an academic in dementia, the session will be very basic. The aim is to explain in a completely unthreatening way some basic facts about dementia.
Because of the security of the law school in Central London, you’ll need to sign up in advance.
The people who attend are normally well informed, friendly and enthusiastic. You’ll be invited to have a badge should you wish to become a ‘Dementia Friend’.
More importantly, you’ll be asked to think of a commitment and action, and no pledge is too small.
It might be for example to ask your local paper to avoid using the term ‘dementia sufferers’, as this term might exacerbate stigma.
An example is here.