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How To Become A Dementia Friend

View profile for Annaliese Barber
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I am sure that we all have been touched by experience of dementia in some form, whether we have had a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister diagnosed with the disease.  It sometimes feels as though dementia is on the rise.

To help put this into context, here are some recent facts and figures about dementia –

  • There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051
  • 225,000 people will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes
  • 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia
  • 70 per cent of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems

However, this is not a disease that affects the elderly.  You may be surprised to learn that in 2013 there were 42,325 people under 65 with early-onset dementia in the UK.

Locally, it is estimated that there are approximately 1,170 people with dementia living in Hartlepool, and by 2020 the figure is set to rise to almost 1,360.

Dementia is an umbrella term that describes different brain disorders that trigger a loss of brain function. These conditions are all usually progressive and eventually severe.  The most common form is Alzheimer’s Disease which accounts for around 62% of cases, followed by Vascular Dementia, Mixed Dementia, Lewy-body Dementia and then more rare types of dementia.

I have worked for Tilly Bailey & Irvine for almost 19 years and have spent over 15 years in the Private Client Department.  I have a vast amount of experience of dealing with clients diagnosed with dementia.  However, although I thought I knew a bit about dementia, I heard about Dementia Friends and thought that this would be a great opportunity to learn more about dementia and how I can make small changes to help my clients and educate.  My colleagues and I in the Private Client Department in Hartlepool are all Dementia Friends.  I have also recently completed Dementia Champion training which means that I can train people to become Dementia Friends.

It doesn’t take much time to become a Dementia Friend.  You can become a Dementia Friend by attending a Dementia Friends face to face Information Session run by a Dementia Champion.  Or, you can become a Dementia Friend on-line by watching the videos on the website (www.dementiafriends.org.uk).  The aim of the Alzheimer’s Society was to have a million Dementia Friends by 2015.  There are currently over 1,220,000 Dementia Friends (3.8.15), the number is growing every day and we would love you to join our ranks!

Tilly Bailey & Irvine has been part of the Dementia Friendly Hartlepool Initiative which is working towards making Hartlepool a Dementia Friendly Community.  It is all about making small changes which can make a big difference to those diagnosed with dementia.

It is important to remember that simply because someone has been diagnosed with dementia; it does not mean that they are incapable.  However, they should ensure that their legal and financial affairs are in order and make decisions about who deals with matters for them, whilst they still have the capacity to do so.

I'm more than happy to speak with anyone who might need some guidance for a family member who is suffering the disease whatever their stage.

your family matters

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