The Dementia Friends scheme is the country's biggest ever project to change the way people think about dementia and Mears Care in Wallsend are paving the way in the North East.
Mears Care provides care and support in the home for over 270 people in Wallsend, many of which have dementia. Kelly Rickleton, Manager of Mears Wallsend said 'We play a vital role in keeping many locals independent, living in their own home. Understanding dementia and overcoming the boundaries associated with it is an important part of our service. 45 of our care workers have become Dementia Friends, we want them to have the know-how to make people with dementia feel understood.'
The Dementia Friend scheme, which is led by the Alzheimer's Society, gives people free awareness sessions to help people understand dementia better and aims to make everyday life better for people with dementia by changing the way people think, talk and act.
By 2015, the Government expect 1 million people to have become Dementia Friends. The £2.4 million programme is funded by the Social Fund and the Department of Health.
People can register their interest in becoming a Dementia Friend on the Dementia Friends website or by texting Friend to 88080.