One in 14 people have dementia, but far more people are affected by it than just those with the disease.
Recently me and my team along with Jessica Morden and her team undertook Dementia Friendly training. We are the first political offices in Gwent to take part in the Dementia Friendly scheme. The training involved studying case studies, learning and identifying the signs of dementia, ways to react, deal and help those suffering with dementia.
Most of us will know of someone living with dementia and the impact it has on families can be really difficult. I know from my own experience with a close family member who has dementia the importance of seeing the person rather than the disease. We need to break down the stigma that surrounds dementia. Getting older doesn't mean you have dementia - it's not a natural part of ageing. It is a disease of the brain that can indiscriminately affect people of all ages. Understanding more about it and how it affects people is vital.
Everyone who took the training aims to become local champions for the campaign, trying to ensure sufferers of dementia in Newport and the surrounding areas are understood, supported and able to contribute to community life.
Dementia Friends is a campaign organised by the Alzheimer’s Society to promote awareness, and break down the stigma surrounding dementia. The campaign, launched in February 2013 has seen a great success, with towns and cities all over the country being hailed as dementia friendly.