A new campaign to help people develop a better understanding of dementia and to support people with the disease to live well for longer is being backed by Norfolk County Council.
Dementia is one of the biggest health crises facing the UK – there are currently 665,065 people in England who have the condition and an estimated 21 million people in England having a close friend or family member with dementia.
Here in Norfolk, there are an estimated 16,400 people with the condition, making it one of the county’s top health priorities, and the aim is to encourage as many people as possible to sign up to become a Dementia Friend.
The campaign, launched by Public Health England and the Alzheimer’s Society, aims to create a national network of one million Dementia Friends by 2015.
You can become a Dementia Friend by watching an interactive video online to increase your understanding of the disease, or you can attend one of the Dementia Friends information sessions being planned across the county.
Many of these sessions are being hosted by Norfolk County Council’s Healthy Communities team – which is part of its Public Health service.
For further information on the campaign, how to become a Dementia Friend or to find an information session near you, visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk
Norfolk County Council will also be encouraging as many of its staff as possible to become a Dementia Friend by hosting ten information sessions for staff at County Hall.
Dan Roper, Cabinet Member for Public Protection at Norfolk County Council and Chair of Norfolk’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Dementia is one of the Norfolk Health and Wellbeing Board’s top three priorities so anything we can do to raise community awareness and understanding about it can only be a good thing.
“We hope that Norfolk will become a champion in developing dementia friendly communities and encouraging as many people as possible to become Dementia Friends is a very positive and practical step towards achieving this aim.”