Prime Minister David Cameron is calling for one million people to sign up to the ‘Dementia Friends’ project, in which volunteers will learn what dementia is and how to provide support to people with the condition.
By 2015, it is hoped that one million people will be ‘Dementia Friends’, and using their knowledge in day-to-day life and through volunteering opportunities to support people with the condition in their community, wards and care homes.
The goal is to help the public better understand the condition and help improve the lives of those with dementia in local communities.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society said: “Day to day tasks such as going to the shops or catching a bus can become increasingly difficult for people with dementia. Without a helping hand, this can mean people are left feeling isolated, unable to be part of their community and in some cases even unable to continue living at home.
“Dementia Friends is our latest and most ambitious answer to how we can change this picture. We want to rally a million people behind the cause of helping make a better life for people with dementia. I am confident we will not only meet this target but beat it. Dementia is everyone’s problem and we all need to be part of the solution.”
Saga welcomes the Government’s commitment to improving the lives of those living with dementia.
How to get involved
People across England can now register their interest in becoming a Dementia Friend at www.dementiafriends.org.uk or by texting Friend to 88080. By 2015 one million people will have become Dementia Friends. This scheme is part of a package of measures announced as part of the next phase of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia.
Each Friend will be awarded a special ‘Forget-me-Not’ badge once they have completed their session, so they can be easily identified as being able to assist people with dementia.