Tonia Antoniazzi MP has taken a key step towards helping end the stigma surrounding dementia by becoming a Dementia Friend and supporting Alzheimer's Society Cymru's vision of a dementia-friendly Wales. A Dementia Friend is someone who has gained a basic understanding about what it is like to have dementia and the small ways they can support someone living with the condition.
Dementia Friends was launched in February 2013 by Alzheimer’s Society. It is a trailblazing initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action.
Tonia took part in a number of exercises aimed at helping participants understand the effect of dementia on people’s everyday lives.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: ‘I've signed up to show my support for Dementia Friends, and am encouraging people in Gower to do the same too. With a growing number of people living with dementia, it's more important than ever we all have a better understanding of the condition.
‘Dementia Friends is about giving people an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia. From helping someone find the right bus to spreading the word about dementia, it can help make our local community a better place to live.’
Cheryl James, Operations Manager for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru, said: ‘Dementia is one of the biggest health and care challenges our country faces - one that everyone must respond to. Too many people are not getting the support they deserve and are entitled to. Too many families are struggling to get by. Too many people with dementia live in communities that do not support and include them.
'We all have a part to play in improving the lives of people living with dementia and creating a dementia-friendly UK.
'We are delighted to see Tonia Antoniazzi MP showing her support for Dementia Friends. Less than half of us think we know enough about dementia. Dementia Friends isn’t about creating experts, it’s about helping people understand a little bit more about what it’s like to live with the condition and then turn that understanding into action - anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend.’