There is often a stigma around dementia, as people that are not around those living with the disease tend to have very little understanding of the difficulties that sufferers face. However, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative called ‘Dementia Friends’ is aiming to change the public perception of the disease, whilst helping people affected by dementia to feel more confident about being accepted by the people around them.
By 2025 there will be over 1 million people in the UK with dementia – 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia, while for over 65 years of age this is 1 in 14 people. Unfortunately, figures suggest that the number of people affected by dementia will continue to increase, however, the Alzheimer’s Society is “committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow.”
The Dementia Friends initiative is aiming to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia.
Within Baywater Healthcare, we can encounter people living with dementia every day; when patients contact our Healthcare Helpline, employees handling the call identify signs that they may be speaking to a somebody who has dementia. We will not be able to know if the patient has dementia prior to the call, however, the Dementia Friends initiative has enabled our staff to listen, communicate and handle the call in a professional and calming manner.
Thanks to the Alzheimer’s Society employees at Baywater Healthcare have benefited from a series of brilliant information sessions. The information that we have gained will help us to greater understand the condition, so that we can continue to deliver an excellent service to all our patients.
If you’d like more information about the initiative or to become a ‘Dementia Friend’ yourself, visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk/.