In the UK 61% of people with dementia are female and 39% are male. This is mostly because women tend to live longer than men and as dementia becomes more common as we age, more women develop the condition. Two-thirds of people with dementia still live in their local community, but many don’t feel included. Shockingly 28% of them have even stopped leaving their own house.
It’s time to encourage people to start a conversation: whether it’s calling a relative with dementia, visiting a neighbour or learning more about how to be dementia friendly. From Monday 20 May to Sunday 26 May, Alzheimer’s Society, the leading dementia charity, is calling on businesses, communities and individuals to play their part in creating a more inclusive UK for people affected by dementia.
Dementia Action Week will also see a number of leading restaurants across England, Wales and Northern Ireland taking action by joining Dining4Dementia (18-19 May), which gives people living with dementia the opportunity to volunteer at restaurants. The project aims to show that with the right support and some small adjustments, many people with dementia can continue to contribute to the workplace and by doing so, will breakdown stigmas, end the awkwardness and start conversations.
The Dementia Action Week’s Dining4Dementia campaign is inspired by CPL Productions and Motion Content Group’s forthcoming Channel 4 TV series ‘The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes’. The five-part series follows a restaurant entirely staffed by people living with dementia, overseen by Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton.
All six of Josh Eggleton’s restaurants, Boston Tea Party, Humble Grape, Comptoir Libanais, TGI Fridays and Pieminister will also see people with dementia buddy up with restaurant staff and volunteer front of the house, giving customers a dementia-friendly experience and demonstrating how employers can include people with dementia in the workplace.
With someone developing dementia in the UK every three minutes, almost all of us know someone affected – a family member, friend or colleague – and it doesn’t just affect older people. It shouldn’t be awkward or uncomfortable to talk to someone with dementia. Remember that a person with dementia is still the person they always have been. They’ve had successful careers, raised families and some have travelled the world. A dementia diagnosis doesn’t and shouldn’t ever define them and many still play an active role in society.
Dementia Action Week runs from May 20-26, with Dining4Dementia taking place from May 18-19. For more information about Dementia Action Week and how you can get involved, visit alzheimers.org.uk