The Dementia Friends scheme, launched today by Prime Minister David Cameron, is the country’s biggest ever project to change the way people think about dementia.
Under the scheme, which is led by the Alzheimer’s Society, people will be given free awareness sessions to help them understand dementia better and become Dementia Friends.
The scheme aims to make everyday life better for people with dementia by changing the way people think, talk and act. The Alzheimer’s Society wants the Dementia Friends to have the know-how to make people with dementia feel understood and included in their community.
People can register their interest in becoming a Dementia Friend on the Dementia Friends website or by texting Friend to 88080.
By 2015, 1 million people will become Dementia Friends. The £2.4 million programme is funded by the Social Fund and the Department of Health. The scheme has been launched in England today and the Alzheimer’s Society is hoping to extend it to the rest of the UK soon.
Each Dementia Friend will be awarded a forget-me-not badge, to show that they know about dementia. The same forget-me-not symbol will also be used to recognise organisations and communities that are dementia friendly. The Alzheimer’s Society will release more details in the spring about what communities and organisations will need to do to be able to display it.
The forget-me-not symbol has been created by the Alzheimer’s Society working with the Dementia Friendly Communities champion group, which is part of the PM’s Dementia Challenge.
The video below explains Dementia Friends. Find out more on the Dementia Friends website.
Today the Government also announced the next steps for the Dementia Challenge.