One in three of us will be affected by dementia

Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

I was delighted recently to welcome over 50 people to an Alzheimer’s Society “Dementia Friends” workshop I had arranged at the ACE Centre, Nelson.

I became a “Dementia Friend” last year after attending an event in Westminster and was so impressed I arranged a workshop in Pendle. Dementia Friends recognises people with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community.

This national initiative is giving people a better understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia – from helping someone find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia.

I was delighted the session I arranged attracted a diverse range of people, from care workers, to small business owners, college students, councillors and representatives from our local bus company.

I certainly hope those who attended the session found it informative and thought provoking.

Dementia is a growing issue of concern, with an aging population and the realisation that as many as one in three of us will be affected.

My grandmother lived with dementia for a number of years and it was a traumatic experience, not just for her but for our whole family.

Over the past couple of years I have attended a dementia café in Colne, a meeting of the Alzheimer’s Society’s carers support group in Nelson, the East Lancashire Community Dementia Forum at Brierfield library and taken part in an Alzheimer’s Society workshop in Barnoldswick. I also made a speech in Parliament last year on dementia care.

While there is still no cure for dementia, our understanding of the disease is getting better and by sharing knowledge and understanding we can hopefully turn Pendle into a “dementia friendly” borough.