On Tuesday 17 March Robin Walker MP pledged to make this election memorable by taking action to support the 850,000 people living with dementia across the UK.
Robin joined over 200 other MPs and representatives from Alzheimer’s Society in Westminster to meet people with dementia and commit to support those affected by the condition. On the day, Robin supported Alzheimer’s Society’s General Election campaign that is calling for more people to get the dementia diagnosis they need and for everyone to be properly supported afterwards.
Robin visited the Alzheimers Society’s Worcestershire HQ last year to take the Dementia Friends course that helps to familiarise people with how better to support people with Dementia and he has also visited their friendship group meetings at St Peter’s Baptist Church in Worcester. Robin wore his Dementia friends badge alongside his Worcestershire flag badge for the meeting in Westminster.
“We all have a part to play in improving the lives of people living with dementia. There are around 1, 146 people living with the condition in Worcester – and many more who are in regular contact with family and friends with the condition. It is an issue we absolutely cannot afford to ignore. I am glad that this Government has increased funding for dementia research and hosted international conferences on the challenge of dementia.
“I attended the Alzheimer’s Society branch in Ombersley last year where I undertook dementia friend training, it was a fascinating course and really made you think about how difficult it can be to deal with Dementia. I would recommend the course to anyone dealing with Dementia in the family or who might be dealing with members of the public who might be sufferers. I think more MPs should do this.”
“In Worcester we are fortunate to have the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) as a designated research centre at the University of Worcester. The ADS are a multi-professional group of educationalists, researchers and practitioners who are expert in the field of person-centred dementia care and support. People with dementia, their families and their carers inform the work of ADS at all stages.”
Alzheimer’s Society campaigners were in Westminster to urge MPs to make this election memorable for all those affected by dementia. The charity is striving to ensure that more people get a diagnosis and the support they need, that there is a doubling of spending on dementia research and that communities are encouraged to become dementia friendly to ensure people with dementia can live full and active lives.
While in Westminster, Alzheimer’s Society supporter Shelagh Robinson, 73, who was diagnosed with dementia five years ago, delivered a petition with 67,375 signatures to the Prime Minister. The petition calls for everyone diagnosed with dementia to have access to a Dementia Adviser or Support Worker – a named contact who can help them come to terms with the diagnosis and guide them through the complex health and social care system.
George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society said:
“Dementia is the biggest health and care challenge our country faces – one that all of society must respond to. By the end of the next parliament more than a million people will be living with dementia. There is unlikely to be a family in the country that is not affected.”
“2015 is set to be an important year for politics – but together let’s also make it an historical year for people with dementia.”
Notes to editors:
· The Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. To find out more about Alzheimer’s Society, visit www.alzheimers.org.uk
· For more information about the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies visit: http://www.worcester.ac.uk/discover/association-for-dementia-studies.html
· To read Robin’s oral and written questions, plus his appearances in the House of Commons Chamber connected to the University of Worcester and this issue, visit the parliamentary Hansard links below:
· For Robin’s previous releases on Alzheimers and Dementia see: