Jo Cox MP has taken a key step towards helping end the stigma surrounding dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend and supporting Alzheimer’s Society’s vision of a dementia-friendly UK.
A Dementia Friend is someone who has gained a basic understanding about what it is like to have dementia and the small ways they can support someone living with the condition.
This month Alzheimer’s Society released its manifesto, a dementia promise which sets out calls to government, that if implemented, will significantly increase the quality of life for people affected by dementia. The charity is calling for government to help make communities more dementia friendly by encouraging people to become Dementia Friends.
Mrs Cox said: “I’ve signed up to show my support for Dementia Friends, and am encouraging people in Batley & Spen to do the same too. With a growing number of people living with dementia, it’s more important than ever we all have a better understanding of the condition.
“Dementia Friends is about giving people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia. From helping someone find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia, it can help make our local community a better place to live.”
Leo Verity from the Alzheimer’s Society said: “Dementia is one of the biggest health and care challenges our country faces – one that all of society must respond to. Too many people are not getting the support they deserve and are entitled to. Too many families are struggling to get by. Too many people with dementia live in communities that do not support and include them.
“We all have a part to play in improving the lives of people living with dementia. But we need the next government – and every MP – to play their part in creating a dementia-friendly UK.
“We are delighted to see Jo Cox showing her support for Dementia Friends today. Less than half of us think we know enough about dementia. Dementia Friends isn’t about creating experts, it’s about helping people understand a little bit more about what it’s like to live with the condition and then turn that understanding into action – anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend.”
If you are interested in becoming a Dementia Friend or helping create more communities that are dementia friendly, go to www.dementiafriends.org.uk to find your nearest information session or to volunteer as a Dementia Friends Champion.