This week is Dementia Awareness Week. In the UK, there are about 800,000 people with dementia and it is estimated that around 400,000 people are unaware they have dementia. We therefore need to raise awareness about this condition to ensure an earlier intervention so that people suffering from dementia and their relatives have more time to come to terms with future symptoms.
In March, ECT was visited by Rachel Ibbott, a Dementia Friends Champion and On Purpose Associate. Dementia Friends is a national initiative that is being run by Alzheimer’s Society. It’s funded by the the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office and aims to improve people’s understanding of dementia and its effects. Dementia Friends was launched to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that means many people with the condition experience loneliness and social exclusion.
What is dementia? Click here for a short video explanation.
Working at ECT, we come into contact with people suffering from dementia on a daily basis. Given that we continually strive to offer the highest quality service to our customers, we welcomed the opportunity for the staff to learn more about dementia.
Rachel spent the day giving workshops to office staff, drivers and passenger assistants about how we can all make a positive difference to people living with dementia in the community. We were given information about the personal impact of dementia and what we can do to help.
What did we learn?
Click here for more detail on these five points. We encourage other organisations to take part in this ground-breaking initiative. Following such a successful programme in the UK, Jeremy Hughes, CEO of Alzheimer’s Society, has now pledged to work with charities and governments around the world to help establish Dementia Friends programmes.
At ECT, we are proud that so many staff members have become Dementia Friends and we will continue to explore ways to become a more dementia friendly organisation.