Mid Sussex MP encourages people to be dementia friends
The MP for Mid Sussex is encouraging people to train to become dementia friends.
Mims Davies has called for this following a debate in the House of Commons on Dementia Week, focusing on the major issues concerning the disease, including research, treatment, care and the impact of Covid-19.
She said: “As a trained ‘Dementia Friend’, I was delighted to see this general debate take place, and as part of this important annual week, I want to encourage everyone across Mid Sussex to take up the chance, if you can, to train as a Dementia Friend’, which will truly help you understand what people with dementia have to deal with on a daily basis, and then use this understanding to support for those living with this awful disease.
“It was great to chat to families in Mid Sussex in the local support group to hear their stories and discuss why being a trained friend matters so much.
“The Covid-19 has impacted on people with dementia in a number of ways.
“In addition to the high proportion of people with dementia living in care homes, and therefore suffering isolation as well as risks of exposure, people with dementia living in the community with carers, paid or unpaid, have been less able to access support.
There are currently around 1,434 people living with dementia in Mid Sussex and often family and friends are acting as primary carers.
According to Dementia Friends, an Alzheimer’s Society initiative, a dementia friend is somebody that learns about dementia so they can help their community.
Dementia Friends help people living with dementia by taking actions - both big and small.
These actions don’t have to be time-consuming. From visiting someone you know with dementia to being more patient in a shop queue, every action counts! Dementia Friends can also get involved with things like volunteering, campaigning or wearing a badge to raise awareness.
Anyone can become a dementia friend, and there are two ways to become one through the Dementia Friends website.
One way is to watch a short video about dementia, where you’ll hear from people living with dementia and learn how you can help.
This takes around five minutes.
The other way is to do a more in-depth live virtual session, which takes around 45 minutes.
These are run by one of the organisation’s volunteer champions, will be an interactive session with lots of information, and can be attended remotely.
You can also register to become a dementia friends champion, which is a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia.
They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help.
For more information on how to become a dementia friend, visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk