A series of Dementia Friends sessions are being held in South Yorkshire, to increase awareness of the symptoms of the disease.
The sessions, provided by the Dementia Friendly Communities Project in Goldthorpe and the Dearne, hope to provide further understanding of what it is like living with dementia, and how to turn that understanding into positive community action.
Carers, local councillors, service providers and local businesses have been working together on the initiative, and now hope to spread the message further by raising awareness of dementia sufferer’s difficulties, and what people can do to help.
A spokesman for the project said: “The Alzheimer’s Society defines dementia as ‘a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.’ We know that these changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life and may also affect mood and behaviour.
“With help from the Alzheimer’s Society Barnsley and Barnsley Dementia Action Alliance, an action plan has been put in place to ensure people with dementia in the area continue to be understood and valued.”
Local business owner, Colin Buxton, said: “I am involved with project as it provides helpful knowledge of understanding different people’s needs and difficulties. As a shop owner this gives me more confidence to provide the right service .”
Mark Kaye, library information officer for Goldthorpe Library, said: “This initiative is a good idea as it makes people aware and offers help and support for people who need it.”
Gillian Carr, Barnsley’s dementia fire and home safety coordinator, said: “Dementia Friends was launched to tackle the stigma and lack of understanding that means many people experience loneliness and social exclusion. It’s about learning the small ways you can help.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details of local sessions.