Cameron reveals 'dementia friends' scheme
Published on 08 November 2012 11:30 AM
David Cameron has unveiled an ambitious set of proposals aimed to encourage around a million people to offer support to people living with dementia.
The Prime Minister has described tackling dementia as a 'personal priority' and wants one million people to have signed up for coaching sessions to become 'dementia friends' by 2015.
The sessions will take place in churches and workplaces, with people being taught to spot the signs of the condition as well as how to support people living with dementia, and Mr Cameron thinks it can make a real difference.
'There are already nearly 700,000 sufferers in England alone but less than half are diagnosed and general awareness about the condition is shockingly low,' he said.
'We are now going further and faster to help people and their carers, and to support the research needed to prevent and treat the condition.'
Millions invested in dementia research and support
The government is investing nearly £10 million into dementia research and £50 million into making wards and care homes more comfortable for dementia patients.
'Through the Dementia Friends project we will for the first time make sure a million people know how to spot those tell-tale signs and provide support,' Mr Cameron said.
'There is still a long way to go in fighting the disease but together we can improve the lives of millions.'
800,000 people in the UK living with dementia
Other plans to help with early diagnosis and increase public understanding have also been announced and with 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia - and that figure expected to rise as the population ages - director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, Dr Eric Karran, says it cannot be ignored.
'At a cost of £23 billion a year to the UK economy, we all agree that dementia is not a problem we can ignore,' he said.
'Finding treatments for Alzheimer's and other dementias is no easy task, but it's one we must tackle if we are to make a real difference to people's lives.'
Copyright Press Association 2012