Brian Rowcroft, ‘Working for a Dementia Friendly Middlesbrough’
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051. 225,000 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes. 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Brian has worked to help people become ‘dementia friends’ in Middlesbrough for 2 years, holding hundreds of training sessions. It was eye opening for our Sixth Form students to learn about the challenges people with dementia are facing on a daily basis, such as verbal abuse and the devastating consequence this has for the people with dementia and their families, in some cases leading people diagnosed with dementia scared to leave the house.
However, Brian also told us about how Dementia Friends have worked hard and been successful in trying to make Middlesbrough dementia friendly with victories such as dementia friendly car parks and encouraging cinemas to have showings for people suffering dementia so that they can still have a good quality of life. Wearing a Dementia Friends badge can show solidarity and help carers feel less alone.
Becoming dementia friends has allowed us to learn invaluable skills and enabled us to be aware of dementia and how to help people who may have dementia – WE ARE DEMENTIA FRIENDS!!