TODAY The News pledges to raise awareness of dementia and ensure no patient or carer feels alone – and we need your support to make it work.
There are 2,247 people living with the condition in Portsmouth, around 1,133 in Gosport, 1,819 in Fareham and 2,031 in Havant.
We applaud The News for its campaign and completely support the pledgesDr David Chilvers, head of the Fareham and Gosport CCG
Charity Alzheimer’s Society said its research shows 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia.
But this is set to increase dramatically – in less than 10 years it will rise to 1m and will soar to 2m by 2051.
This is why The News is launching its campaign Dementia Awareness Week with three pledges to ensure people are dementia-aware, as a community we help each other and no one feels alone.
Editor Mark Waldron said: ‘Dementia is already something that has a major impact on so many of our readers and we know this will increase in the years to come.
‘It’s important as a community we understand what dementia is, how if effects people, and what we can all do to make sure it’s taken seriously and those who need help get it.’
The campaign is being backed by the Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport (F&G) and South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
Dr David Chilvers, chairman of the F&G CCG, said: ‘We applaud The News for its campaign and completely support the pledges.
‘They are values you would want and hope for with a caring and compassionate society.
‘We are working with all GP practices to improve rates of early diagnosis, so we can offer the earliest possible help and support to patients.
‘We also want to improve, where we can, the services available to those patients who have already been diagnosed, although there is quite a lot of support available in the area already.
Dementia is an umbrella term describing a large group of symptoms that affect brain nerve cells, causing them to die.
There is currently no cure and the condition gets progressively worse.
Chris Wyatt, Alzheimer’s Society regional operations manager for the south east, said: ‘There are thousands of people living with dementia, yet it remains a condition often pushed into the shadows because of fear, lack of understanding and stigma.
‘By doing this we can make sure dementia stops being such a taboo subject and people living with the condition don’t have to feel that they are on their own.’
Here are The News’ three pledges
OUR year-long campaign is committed to delivering three pledges in a bid to raise awareness and increase support.
We want our readers to get behind these pledges:
- Raise awareness of dementia – each day this week The News will feature a series of stories on the condition and will continue to run stories throughout the year.
- Double the number of dementia friends – at the moment there are 1,416 in Portsmouth, 405 in Gosport, 662 in Fareham, 96 in Havant and 443 in Waterlooville.
- No one feels alone – ensure information and support for both carers and patients is easily-available so people do not feel isolated.