Dementia Action Week aims to ensure that the important mission of tackling Dementia & Alzheimer’s and raising awareness of these conditions continues in the U.K.
Ian Lavery MP, Member of Parliament for Wansbeck has been campaigning in his constituency in Northumberland to make local communities more Dementia Friendly. Mr Lavery spoke about his experience campaigning locally and nationally on the issue during Dementia Action Week 2019; “Having worked closely with the Alzheimer’s Society in recent years, you really do see more and more the desperate need to support those living with this debilitating illness, which for far too long has been the focus of stigma in wider society, with people being frightened or unsure of what it means to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.”
“I held a listening event in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea with the support of the Alzheimer’s Society, where I met with constituents who are either living with Dementia or are caring for somebody, usually a spouse or partner, living with Dementia. The emotional stories and first-hand testimony I heard really blew me away. Because of the stigma and taboo of talking about things such as Alzheimer’s and other complications that can come with growing old, it makes it even more terrifying to hear from a Doctor or Health Care Professional that yourself or somebody close to you has been diagnosed with Dementia. Usually, people do not know how to react, may assume that their life is over and have difficulty imagining how their friends, family and loved ones may react to the news, or indeed to them directly.”
Mr Lavery welcomed the commitment of the Alzheimer’s Society and thanked them for the work they have helped him facilitate in Northumberland. He spoke of his ongoing campaign to make Wansbeck ‘Dementia Friendly’ saying; “The work we have done recently, with public workshops and listening events have been combined with me writing to, speaking to and encouraging local businesses and people-based organisations to take up the free training available. The more people who understand Dementia in our local communities, the more welcoming and accessible we can become – which is not only great news for business and the local economy but also makes an invaluable contribution to those in our towns and villages living with Alzheimer’s.”
Constituents can learn more about Mr Lavery’s campaigning for Dementia Action by following his website updates at; www.ianlavery.co.uk or on his Social Media pages; Facebook.com/IanLaveryMP / @IanLaveryMP
To find out how you can get involved with Dementia Action Week 2019, visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-action-week