New campaign urges Blackburn with Darwen residents to become Dementia Friends

Published May 7, 2014 at 10:09

Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackburn with Darwen 50+ Partnership are supporting a new campaign to help people develop an understanding of dementia and assist those local people living with it.

The national Dementia Friends campaign is being launched today by Public Health England and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Dementia is a major health concern. There are believed to be over 665,000 people in England who have dementia, although less than half have been formally diagnosed. An estimated twenty-one million people in England have a close friend or family member suffering from the condition.

In Blackburn with Darwen, it is estimated that there are over 1,340 people with dementia (both diagnosed or undiagnosed), with that figure expected to rise to approximately 1,470 by 2020.

The new campaign encourages people to become a Dementia Friend by watching an interactive video online to increase their understanding of the condition and using what they learn to assist people in their local community.

Dementia Friends will be able to spot signs of dementia and know how to offer support – no matter how small.

The launch of the new campaign is part of a wider developing strategy for supporting people with dementia in Blackburn with Darwen.

Dr Gifford Kerr, Consultant in Public Health for Blackburn with Darwen Council said: “Dementia can be a confusing and scary condition, both for those that live with it and people who come into contact with others affected. More and more people are expected to develop dementia but, with support, they can live well. Through this campaign people in Blackburn with Darwen can take responsibility and help them do so.”

Steve Tingle, Chair of the Blackburn with Darwen 50+ Partnership, said: “It is only by understanding the issues that people living with dementia face from their point of view, that we can fully appreciate the challenges they have to overcome on a day-to-day basis. By becoming a Dementia Friend, you are playing crucial role in helping us take one step closer to creating a dementia-friendly society.”

For further information on the campaign and how to become a Dementia Friend, please visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk

For more information on dementia care locally there is a public awareness event being held at Turf Moor, Burnley on Monday, May 19, from 10am-3.30pm. For more information call (01772) 536294.

You can also visit: www.yoursupportyourchoice.org.uk/i-need-help-with.aspx The Your Support Your Choice shop in Blackburn town centre will also be holding a dementia awareness session on Thursday May 22. Contact (01254) 292620 for more information.

Age UK has an advice and information service for issues facing older people in Blackburn with Darwen. Contact (01254) 26620.

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