The MP for Keighley and Ilkley has attempted to find out what it means to suffer with dementia by attending a Dementia Friends session in Parliament, as the government work to end the stigma that surrounds a condition which affects hundreds of thousands of people in the UK. The West Yorkshire-based MP, Kris Hopkins, was one of 30 MPs and peers who expressed a wish to learn about the condition through the Dementia Friends initiative.
Dementia Friends was launched in February last year by the Alzheimer’s Society and looks to help people understand just what it means to suffer with dementia. The initiative hopes to have one million individuals registered as Dementia Friends by 2015, and is well on its way to meeting this figure. The scheme will help to advise the public on the work of dementia specialist care homes in Abingdon and elsewhere, such as Bridge House, where a dedication to care and understanding always comes first.
The Alzheimer’s Society
The Alzheimer’s Society is looking spread awareness throughout the country and, with the sessions attended by these MPs, they are hopeful of achieving their goals. As the number of people in the UK suffering with the condition continues to rise (one in three people over the age of 65 are now thought to develop dementia), it has never been more important to encourage a broader understanding of the condition.
Mr Hopkins MP said of the initiative in this article, “Dementia Friends is a welcome vehicle that I believe can make a difference to people living with dementia” and “it is vitally important that we develop a deeper and wider understanding of the condition”. With the work of both Dementia Friends and Dementia Champions now being heavily publicised throughout the country, it is hoped that more will be done to help dementia sufferers outside of the secure care of Bridge House to feel more of a part of their local communities.
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