The Dementia Friends program, developed by national peak body Dementia Australia, is a free online learning tool which helps participants to increase their understanding of dementia and be inspired to learn how they can better support the people around them in their community who are impacted.
Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt has shown his support for the initiative by signing himself up and calling on all Members of Parliament across Australia to do the same.
“I am challenging all Parliamentarians - Federal, State and Territory to sign up as a Dementia Friend today, to demonstrate support for the 425,000 Australians living with dementia and their families and carers,” Minister Wyatt explains.
“Going online and joining Dementia Australia’s Dementia friends program will help people understand more about this condition and how it affects the lives of so many people.”
Dementia Australia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maree McCabe has thanked Minister Wyatt for his support of the initiative and also encouraged other Ministers and Parliamentarians to get on board.
“I thank Minister Wyatt for his commitment and champion his call for all Members of Parliament around Australia to sign up to be a Dementia Friend,” Ms McCabe says.
“We encourage all politicians, and business and community leaders, to register through the online module to learn how they can become a Dementia Friend and join this social movement that aims to transform the way our nation thinks, acts and talks about dementia.
“With the prevalence of dementia in Australia projected to reach 1.1 million by 2056, there will be no one who will not be impacted by this disease.
“As a National Health Priority Area dementia is the biggest health challenge of the 21st century.
“We now know from research that 70 percent of people living with dementia are living in our communities, yet the majority feel a profound sense of isolation and lack of purpose due to the lack of awareness of dementia.
“By taking 15 minutes to sign up to be a Dementia Friend, you will open the doors to a program that will empower people who live with dementia to stay and remain their community with the respect and dignity they deserve.”