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Australians urged to become Dementia Friends



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The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Minister for Aged Care Minister for Indigenous Health Member for Hasluck

MEDIA RELEASE

6 June 2018

Australians Urged to Become Dementia Friends

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM has called on Members of Parliament across Australia to join Dementia Friends, a social movement aiming to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about dementia.

“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,” said Minister Wyatt.

“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.

“I am immensely proud that the Turnbull Government has funded the program as a significant part of the $3.9 million national Dementia-Friendly Communities project.”

The new initiative was developed through extensive consultation with people living with dementia, their families and carers and with a wide variety of cultural organisations.

Dementia Australia has built on Dementia Friends programs already in place in the United Kingdom, other parts of Europe, the USA and Canada where, as a global movement, it has inspired more than one million people to show their support and interest in finding out how they can make a difference to the lives of people impacted by dementia.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the Dementia Friends program was an exciting opportunity for community engagement.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

The Dementia Friends program is an online education program and provides access to resources to increase awareness and knowledge of dementia. It is free to join at www.dementiafriendly.org.au

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.