The Alzheimer's Society is encouraging people to learn about dementia in order to make those suffering from the disease feel included and understood.
"People with dementia want to remain independent and engaged in their communities by continuing to socialise with their friends and family and be as active as possible. As the brain gradually shuts down, people with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community which is why the Dementia Friends initiative is of such importance and will help to improve the quality of life for someone living with dementia."
– Caroline Burden Area Manager for Alzheimer's Society in North East and Cumbria
Alzheimer's Society research shows that 41% of people in the North East feel they have a role to play to support people with dementia, but only 48% feel they have a good understanding of the disease.
'Dementia Friends' is an initiative to help a million people understand how to speak sensitively to a person suffering from dementia. The project helps people to make those with dementia feel included and understood.
Another eighteen hundred people have been diagnosed with dementia in our region in the last year, according to figures out today - but charities warn that there are more than sixteen thousand people here who do not know they have it.
Ron Shuttleworth discovered that he had Alzheimers four years ago and the early diagnosis has helped him and his wife keep his condition in check.