UK hopes to train one million 'dementia friends'

AFP News8 November 2012
The number of sufferers is expected to double in the next 30 years
Britain hopes to train a million people to become "dementia friends" as part of new plans to tackle the illness that afflicts around 700,000 in England, the BBC reported on Thursday

Britain hopes to train a million people to become "dementia friends" as part of new plans to tackle the illness that afflicts around 700,000 in England, the BBC reported on Thursday.

It is hoped volunteers will attend workplaces and town halls across England in order to learn what the illness is and how it should be approached.

Prime Minister David Cameron has called dementia a national crisis, adding "we cannot underestimate the challenge we face in dealing with dementia in our country".

The number of sufferers is expected to double in the next 30 years as life expectancy levels increase.

The Dementia Friends plan is borrowed from a similar scheme in Japan that attracted three million volunteers.

"Through the Dementia Friends project we will for the first time make sure a million people know how to spot those tell-tale signs and provide support," said Cameron.