Maidstone and The Weald MP Helen Grant welcomed Alzheimer's Society to her office in Maidstone last week and along with her Parliamentary Assistant Beth, Helen became a 'Dementia Friend'.
Dementia Friends was launched in February 2013 by Alzheimer's Society. It is a trailblazing initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action.
Mrs Grant took part in a number of exercises aimed at helping participants understand the effect of dementia on people's everyday lives. This included learning a little bit about what it is like to live with dementia and thinking about the action communities can take to improve the lives of these people. To find out more about the five key lessons click here.
When speaking after the session, Helen said: 'I am delighted to have signed up to show my support for Dementia Friends. The session will help my team and I to better understand those affected by Dementia and their support network. With a growing number of people living with dementia, this is more important than ever.
'Dementia Friends is about giving people an understanding of dementia and the things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia. I am going to be attending some of their group sessions to learn more.'
Anna Bailey-Bearfield, who delivered the session, said: 'Less than half of us think we know enough about dementia. Dementia Friends isn't about creating experts, it's about helping people understand a little bit more about what it's like to live with the condition and then turn that understanding into action - anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend.'
Alzheimer's Society is aiming to have four million Dementia Friends by 2020, to help make England more dementia-friendly and improve the lives of the 650,000 people currently living with the condition in the country. If you are interested in becoming a Dementia Friend or helping create more communities that are dementia friendly, go to www.dementiafriends.org.uk to find your nearest information session or to volunteer as a Dementia Friends Champion.
Photo: Katie Antill (Services Manager Alzheimers Society Maidstone), Helen Grant MP, Anna Bailey-Bearfield (Stakeholder Relations Officer), and Beth Sidwell (Parliamentary Assistant to Helen Grant MP)
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