Mission to make London the world's first dementia-friendly city

Wednesday 2 July 2014

A still from Barbara's Story film

More than 40 MPs and decisions makers today joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ Chief Nurse Eileen Sills, also Clinical Director for the London Dementia Strategic Clinical Network, and Dr Mark Kinirons, elderly care consultant and lead for dementia and delirium, to be trained as ‘Dementia Friends’.

The Parliamentarians pledged to transform London into the world’s first dementia friendly city.

The training included the showing of Barbara’s Story, a film about a fictional patient developed by the Trust to train staff and raise their awareness of dementia.

One in three Londoners currently over 65 will die with dementia, and the number of people diagnosed with the disease in London expected to double over the next few years.

Two-thirds of people with dementia live in the community. 39% of people with dementia report feeling lonely, compared with 24% of over-55s.

Eileen, who is Clinical Director for the London Dementia Strategic Clinical Network, said: “I am passionate about making London the first dementia friendly city, so I’m delighted that so many London MPs have supported this pledge today.

"We want all Londoners to become more aware of the condition to make our community a kinder place for people with dementia to live. We've seen it's the small things that make the biggest difference – the smiles, the eye contact, the time."

To help them spread the word in their constituencies, MPs were given DVDs of Barbara’s Story, a ‘little book of friendship’ with ideas and tips on helping people living with dementia, and a badge to publicly show their support.

Baroness Greengross OBE, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, said: “Dementia has a profound impact on the lives of so many. Being aware, and sensitive, to the needs of those of us living with dementia is an important part of tackling this illness.”

NHS England is encouraging all Londoners to watch Barbara’s Story on YouTube, visit the Dementia Friends website to receive further training, and join in the pledge on Twitter by using #DementiaLDN.

Last updated: July 2014

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