The UK Parliament is launching an organisation-wide effort, together with Alzheimer’s Society, to become the first ever Dementia-Friendly Parliament in the world today. The leading charity for people with dementia is supporting the initiative which will see all members, staff and the wider parliamentary community improve their understanding of dementia and take action to support those with the condition.
With the aim of creating a supportive environment for people with dementia and those affected by the condition, the initiative calls for Parliament to work towards the following:
- Make dementia awareness part of all newly elected MPs inductions
- Deliver Dementia Friends awareness sessions to all public facing staff so they can support external visitors living with dementia
- Provide MPs and Peers with information and knowledge about dementia to help them assist constituents affected by dementia
- Signpost staff with caring responsibilities for people with dementia to help through Alzheimer’s Society
To mark the launch of the initiative, Debbie Abrahams MP for Oldham East will be running a Dementia Friends session in Portcullis House in the Houses of Parliament on Monday 30 June 2014. Almost a hundred MPs and Peers have already committed to welcome, respect and support people with dementia in their roles by becoming Dementia Friends.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends initiative aims to give people an understanding of what it is like to live with dementia and the small things we can all do to make a difference to people living with the condition.
The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, The Speaker of the House of Commons said:
‘The UK Parliament is working towards becoming the world’s first Dementia Friendly Parliament. MPs and Peers want to understand and recognise the issues facing all their constituents, including those who are affected by dementia.
‘It is my hope that the House of Commons leads by example in becoming dementia-friendly, so that people with the condition are respected, welcomed and supported in Parliament and beyond.’
The Rt Hon Baroness D’Souza CMG, The Speaker of the House of Lords said:
‘This initiative shows a commitment from all within UK Parliament to learn more about dementia and adjust working ways accordingly in support of those with the condition. The new measures will ensure that all parliamentarians and staff throughout Westminster grasp the realities of living with dementia and are better equipped to support those living with the condition.’
George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
‘This ground-breaking initiative shows how UK Parliament is taking the leading role in supporting people with dementia, setting an example to other nations. In an open democracy the least we can do is make Parliament accessible to all, including the needs of those too often overlooked. If everyone inside the walls of Parliament becomes dementia-friendly, it will be a massive step towards improving the quality of life of people with dementia up and down the country.’