Dementia awareness at an all-time high in Richmond

Release Date: 16 May 2017

The biggest ever social action movement which aims to change perceptions of dementia is at an all-time high in Richmond.

During this week’s Dementia Awareness Week, Richmond is celebrating the fact that 4,500 local residents have already signed up to support a national campaign to be a ‘Dementia Friend’ – a programme aimed at transforming the way the country thinks, talks, and acts about the condition.

Dementia describes a set of symptoms that include loss of memory, mood changes and problems with communication and reasoning. It is widely recognised as a condition affecting many people and their families across the UK, with numbers of people expected to double in the next 30 years. The number of older people with dementia in Richmond is currently estimated at around 2,000 individuals.

Dementia Friends are one of the ways that people’s lives are being made better in Richmond. Those who sign up are people who understand dementia a little better, including the ways it can impact on people and the little things we can all do to help. They may wear a forget-me-not Dementia Friends badge to encourage others to get talking about the condition and reduce the fear around the condition. They may also share information and raise awareness of the condition with friends and family.

Dementia Friends challenges the stigma around dementia and even businesses in Richmond are encouraging staff to sign-up.

Houda Al-Sharifi, Director of Public Health for Richmond Council, said:

“Many people with dementia feel lonely and many feel as though as they’re losing friends. Dementia Friends is a real opportunity to make a difference to the lives of those living with dementia. If everyone in our community understands this condition we can move forward as a community to support those with dementia to live a better quality of life. It’s everyone’s problem.”

For more information visit Dementia Friends.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159

Reference: P218/17

Updated: 31 May 2017