Next week (18 May 2014) is Dementia Awareness Week and Kent County Council is urging everyone to become dementia friendly.
There are currently around 22,000 people living with dementia in Kent and by 2026, this figure is expected to rise to 30,100, so it is an issue which is likely to impact on everyone in some way.
This is why KCC wants everyone to give up just an hour of their time to attend a Dementia Friendly Awareness Session and learn how they can support everyone in their community living with dementia.
This is part of a national campaign to create a million Dementia Friends across the country and change the way people think, talk and act around dementia.
Graham Gibbens, KCC cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: “We at KCC are determined to make our county dementia friendly and this means improving understanding, removing stigma and making sure we support people with the right advice and services so they can live well with dementia.
“Dementia is not just about memory loss; dementia can change the way that people experience the world around them and this means they sometimes need a helping hand. This is where you come in. We are inviting as many people in Kent as possible to become a Dementia Friend. We are running Dementia Awareness sessions all this week, which is a chance for you to find out more about dementia and the small things you can do to make a difference to people in your community living with dementia.”
Find out about events happening during Dementia Awareness Week for people living with dementia and those who want to find out more about how they can help.
KCC is supporting people with dementia with a range of services and initiatives. The Dementia Friendly Communities project is bringing people together across Kent to improve the understanding of dementia and the quality of life of those living with it.
The Dementia Diaries, created for KCC by author Matthew Snyman, which tells the experience of real young people in Kent who have relatives with dementia, are being used in schools and libraries and are being developed into a learning pack for schools.
KCC has also commissioned training support for care homes so care workers better understand how dementia affects people, and how they can better support them. This has led to innovative projects, such as care homes forming a choir, doing plays, staff wearing pyjamas at bedtime and changes to the way meal times are approached.
Kent also recently launched its Dementia Action Alliance to bring together groups including KCC, NHS, voluntary sector, businesses, education and academia, who are all dedicated to transforming the quality of life of people with dementia.