Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams, has signed up to be a Dementia Friend ahead of World Alzheimer’s Day on Saturday 21st September.
After completing the Dementia Friends training facilitated by the Alzheimer’s Society, Debbie has also pledged to take action to support the 800,000 people living with the condition across the UK and work to make Oldham a dementia-friendly community for people living with it across the borough.
Debbie says, “We are an ageing society and we know that in 2010 over 2,300 people in Oldham were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, but it is estimated that this is only half of the actual number. By 2020 this number will have increased by 20%. I hope as many people as possible will sign up to be Dementia Friends and help with the vision to build a dementia-friendly Oldham.”
Dementia Friends aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to have one million Dementia Friends by 2015, to help make England more dementia-friendly and improve the lives of people currently living with the condition.
Debbie added, “One in three people over 65 will develop dementia, and it is a health issue that we can no longer afford to ignore. Although we know there are 800,000 people in the UK diagnosed with dementia it’s very likely that there are many more who have not yet been diagnosed.”
Sue Clarke, Locality Manager for the Alzheimer’s Society in Greater Manchester, said, “Most people don’t know enough about dementia. Dementia Friends is the perfect opportunity to be able to invite everyone to improve their knowledge.”
As part of the on-going awareness building events a Memory walk is being held in Heaton Park on 28th September.