Blunkett gives tea party talk to highlight dementia plight

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a SHEFFIELD MP gave his backing to a national campaign raising awareness of dementia by giving a talk at an event organised by the city’s branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Hillsborough and Brightside MP David Blunkett yesterday attended the finale of a week of events organised by the charity as part of Dementia Awareness Week.

Mr Blunkett, vice president of the society nationally and a patron of the Sheffield office, has been involved in dementia since the 1970s when he was in charge of social services in the city.

He attended a tea party event at the Central United Reform Church in the city centre and spoke about why he is supporting the awareness week, which this year has the theme Remember the Person.

Mr Blunkett said: “I was very happy to join with the local society, with family and carers and those with dementia in getting the message across that whilst so many of us will be affected with an ageing population, it is possible not only to offer help and support to the individuals affected but crucially to their loved ones.

“They carry so much of the challenge of caring and helping those affected to live as normal a life as possible.

“Early intervention and, where appropriate, medication can help and the onset of very severe dementia can be delayed for significant periods of time.

“New memory clinics can help identify and in many cases reassure, in respect of whether simply becoming absent-minded has turned into the onset of Alzheimer’s.

“It is a simple fact that as we grow older our short-term memory does become less sharp and that is why it is important to allay worries for those who are not affected and offer real assistance to those who are.”