Plea for more people in Norfolk and Suffolk to help reduce dementia stigma
- Credit: PA
A charity is urging Norfolk and Suffolk residents to help tackle the stigma faced by people with dementia.
The Alzheimer's Society is appealing for more people to sign up to become 'dementia friends', which is a scheme launched in 2013 to address issues faced by patients with the illness such as loneliness and isolation.
Nearly two thirds of people with dementia experience loneliness and almost half report losing friends after diagnosis, according to the Alzheimer's Society.
Their plea comes as people across the globe take part in World Alzheimer's Day today.
Dementia friends take part in information sessions and are shown small things they can do which makes a difference.
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There are more than 15,000 dementia friends in Norfolk and Suffolk, with the condition affecting around 60,000 people in the region.
Nick Clarke, locality development manager at Norfolk County Council, has created over 1,000 Dementia Friends since becoming a Dementia Friends Champion two years ago.
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He said: 'Raising awareness of dementia has been both a personal and professional motivation for me.
'In my role at Norfolk County Council I host awareness sessions with local businesses, community groups and members of the public. 'I've seen the effects of dementia and memory loss first-hand and I think it's so important to create a more dementia-aware community.'
According to the charity, a global survey of 2,500 people with dementia and carers across 50 countries found that stigma is a major barrier to improving care and support for people with the condition.
A total of 75pc of people with dementia and 64pc of family carers believe that people with dementia face stigma, including fear and avoidance, from others.
'I wholeheartedly support the Dementia Friends movement and would encourage everyone to sign up and become more conscious, empowered and dementia friendly,' Mr Clarke said.
To find out more about becoming a dementia friend visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk