Across the UK over 850,000 people have been diagnosed with dementia and that number is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051. Recognising this, Cornwall Council is supporting the Dementia Friends programme; which aims to raise awareness of dementia and create an understanding of how to provide support to those living with dementia. Last week over 100 Cornwall Council Safeguarding Advocates, completed the dementia awareness session with Cornwall College.
The awareness session was led by the Curriculum Lead for Social Care and Health at the Cornwall College Group, Anne-Marie Young, she said: “We are an ageing population, we are living longer and more people are becoming affected by dementia so we need to create a community response to this issue.
Today has been about raising awareness amongst Council staff, empowering them to support the most vulnerable members of our local communities.”
A report by the Alzheimer’s Society, ‘Building Dementia Friendly Communities: A priority for everyone’, revealed that less than half of people living with dementia feel a part of the community (47%) and nearly three quarters (73%) of UK adults surveyed in a YouGov poll do not think society is geared up to deal with dementia.
Anne-Marie continued: “It’s not obvious if someone is living with dementia, but we can all do little things to help and be more understanding. An everyday task, which may seem simple to us can be extremely confusing to someone with dementia.”
The Alzheimer’s Society website has plenty of information if you or a family member has been affected with dementia.
John Pollard, Leader of Cornwall Council said It was a useful and very informative session and everyone involved learned how we can support those living with Dementia and those who support them. It was clear that if we all recognise the issues they face even slight adjustments to our approach could make a great difference. For Cornwall Council, awareness and understanding will help shape services we deliver and provide an improved experience for our residents.