Making one million dementia friends

Dementia Friends

“Through the Dementia Friends project we will for the first time make sure a million people know how to spot those tell-tale signs and provide support.”

Prime Minister David Cameron

Via Department of Health

One million people are needed to take part in the nation’s biggest ever call to action to challenge the way the public thinks and acts on dementia.

People across England can register their interest in becoming a Dementia Friend on the Dementia Friend’s website or by texting Friend to 88080.

Members of the public will be educated in local sessions, church halls and work places to become ‘Dementia Friends’. The scheme will provide free coaching sessions on how to spot the signs of dementia and provide support to people with the condition, whether that is a friend, family member or someone you meet through your job.

By 2015, one million people will become ‘Dementia Friends’ so they can use their knowledge in day to day life and through opportunities to volunteer to support people with the condition in their community, wards and care homes. The initiative will boost early diagnosis for dementia patients and help the public to better understand the condition.

This scheme is part of a package of measures announced today as part of the next phase of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia. These include:

  • £9.6 million for dementia research
  • Extra support for GPs on dementia to better equip them to spot and diagnose dementia, and to help the person with dementia and their carer to manage their condition.
  • An ambitious pilot with a number of schools and youth projects to help young people across the country become dementia aware
  • A £1 million prize fund for any NHS organisation which finds groundbreaking ways to drastically reduce the number of people with dementia who are undiagnosed by health care professionals.
  • A £50 million fund to create specially adapted wards and care home spaces to improve the experience of people with dementia
  • A commitment that every person diagnosed with dementia will be able to obtain detailed information on services and support, as part of the ‘Our Health’ online service directories across England.
  • 1,800 care homes and sites – with more than 200,000 people – across the country signed up to a ‘dementia care compact’ committing them to standards of care and treatment for people with dementia.