Health leaders in southern Derbyshire are encouraging people to become Dementia Friends in support of Dementia Awareness Week.
NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the Dementia Friends campaign to help people develop an understanding of dementia and turn it into action to help people in their community living with the disease.
Over a third of people over 65 will develop dementia and an estimated 21m people in England have a close friend or family with the condition.
Staff at the CCG, which is based at Cardinal Square, Derby, have taken part in sessions to find out more about the impact of dementia and support services available in the area, as part of the awareness week which runs until Saturday (23 May).
A Dementia Friends Information Session has been hosted at Strutt’s Community Centre, Belper, by The Alzheimer’s Society, which is commissioned by the CCG and Derbyshire County Council to provide services in the county.
Making Space, which is commissioned by the CCG and Derby City Council to provide dementia services for patients in the city, have hosted an awareness event at Littleover Grange Banqueting Suite.
Helen O’Higgins, Senior Commissioning Manager for NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’re working with our partners to help people get the support they need to stay independent for longer.
“A pilot initiative to increase diagnosis for people in care homes is underway and we have reviewed and expanded our memory assessment services across the whole of the county.
“There’s so much that can be done to support people with dementia to help them carry on getting the most out of life.
“Developing an understanding of the condition and how support can help you and your loved ones is incredibly worthwhile.”
People can become a dementia friend by watching a special video online and entering their details to receive a free information pack which is full of helpful tips and ideas.
Alternatively, people can also become a Dementia Friend by attending an information session in their local area. Full details are available at dementiafriends.org.uk/
Councillor Martin Repton, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Integrated Health and Care, said: “‘We actively encourages staff to become Dementia Friends, a national initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society which helps people to understand more about dementia and how we can all help to create a Dementia Friendly Community.
“Becoming a Dementia Friend is quick, free, and helps us to learn how small actions can make a big difference to people living with dementia and their carers.
“As part of Dementia Awareness Week training sessions are taking place across the city to help Derby be a Dementia Friendly Community.”