MSP and staff sign up to Dementia Friend programme

Richard Lochhead receives his Dem
Richard Lochhead receives his Dementia Friend certificate from Wendy Menzies.

A PROGRAMME AIMED at transforming the way people think, act and talk about dementia has opened the eyes of Moray MSP Richard Lochhead.

Alzheimer Scotland say that their new programme gives people an understanding of the small things that they could do to help people who suffer from dementia.

Currently in Moray there are 1700 people with dementia – and an increasingly ageing population indicates that the number is very likely to rise. Now the MSP is encouraging individuals and organisations to sign up to the ‘Dementia Friend’ programme, ensuring that there is greater awareness of the conditions in Moray communities.

Mr Lochhead joined members of his own staff in a meeting with Wendy Menzies, who is a dementia advisor for Alzheimer Scotland in Moray: “The session with Wendy was incredibly eye opening in terms of the realities of living with dementia.

“I think what is so important is that we understand that everyone living with the condition will be affected differently and that we should always look past the label of having dementia, and see the person behind the condition.

“With over 1700 people living in Moray with the condition it is absolutely right that we should all be thinking about how we can help make our communities more dementia friendly. Small things can make a big difference, like speaking slowly and clearly to give the person time to understand you, or remembering that if the person says something that doesn’t make sense to you, you should avoid making them feel embarrassed or silly.

“It’s vital that we all do what we can to make sure that people living with dementia remain part of their community and that’s why I would encourage people and local organisations to sign up to the Dementia Friend scheme, so they can learn a little about what it’s like to live with dementia and can turn that understanding into action.”

Moray information on the Dementia Friends programme can be found online.