Become a Dementia Friend

Date: 27 May 2014

Category: Campaign

Become a Dementia Friend today and make a difference to someone’s life

NHS Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting a new campaign encouraging people to increase their awareness of dementia and to help others living with the condition.

The Dementia Friends campaign, which has been launched by Public Health England and Alzheimer’s Society, is being backed by actor Paul O’Grady.

Dementia Friends

Dementia is arguably the biggest health crisis facing the UK. There are currently 665,065 people in England who have dementia and an estimated 21 million people in England have a close friend or family member with dementia. In Bristol, it is estimated there are around 4400 people with dementia.

Bristol CCG works with a selection of partners to offer a range of support locally for people living with dementia. This includes Bristol City Council, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health NHS Partnership Trust, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, British Red Cross, Reminiscence Learning, amongst others.

Dementia support

Pat Mitchell from Bristol whose husband Cliff has dementia, said: 

"We have always been very open with everyone about Cliff’s dementia which makes it easier when we meet new people. We haven’t experienced much stigma ourselves but do know that some people are afraid of talking about dementia. We get a lot of support from family and friends, which has helped us continue to live a full life but can imagine this is not the case for many people with dementia. If more people understand what dementia is then hopefully people with the condition won’t have to worry about being shunned or avoided."

- Pat Mitchell

One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia, a very high proportion. But people with dementia can live well, and it is the responsibility of the rest of the community to help them do so.

"It is only by understanding the issues that people living with dementia face that we fully appreciate the challenges they have to overcome on a day-to-day basis. By participating in the short information session to become a Dementia Friend, you are playing a crucial role in helping us take one step closer to creating a dementia-friendly society."

- Alison Moon, Director of Transformation and Quality, Bristol CCG

People with dementia don’t just lose their memories; they can also lose their friends. This is because people with dementia can start to behave differently. And sometimes those friends might not understand or know how to react.

People are encouraged to become a Dementia Friend by watching a short video online or by attending a face-to-face information session to increase their understanding of the condition and implementing their experience on a daily basis. You can also train to become a Dementia Champion and share this information by running dementia-friendly information sessions yourself.

Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative launched in 2013 to increase understanding and awareness. The new campaign aims to raise awareness and help create a network of one million Dementia Friends across England by 2015.

Join Dementia Friends to understand a bit more about dementia, and the little ways you can help.

To become a friend you just need to visit https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/

Dementia Friends