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Commissioner Supports Dementia Awareness Week

17th May 2015

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird is supporting Dementia Awareness Week.

The week is hosted by the Alzheimer’s Society and this year runs from May 17 to 23.

The charity believes that life doesn’t end when dementia begins and does all it can to help people hold onto their lives and the things they love for longer.

It also believes it’s possible for those affected by dementia to do new things and have new experiences. With this in mind the chosen theme of the week is #DoSomethingNew.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird said: “It’s incredibly important to me that the most vulnerable in our communities are given all the help and support they need.

“This is an excellent campaign encouraging people with dementia to take the first steps to trying something new, no matter how big or small, and that dementia doesn’t have to hold them back.

“It will be interesting to see people’s pledges to #DoSomethingNew on social media as the week progresses.”

In Northumberland, police work alongside the Alzheimer’s Society on the initiative Dementia Friends. Officers have been given specialist training to help advise them about the condition, how it can affect people, how to spot the signs of someone with it and how to handle their needs.

Officers also use information provided by family members and carers to build a picture of where someone with dementia may be likely to go if missing so that they can locate them.

The programme has been rolled out to care homes across the Northumberland area encouraging them to compile a file on each individual resident with dementia that would indicate to police where to concentrate their search in the event the person goes missing.

Commissioner Baird represents the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) on the National Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat and this year gave her signature to a regional Crisis Care Concordat which sees police, the NHS, councils and the voluntary sector in the north east coming together to improve the crisis care for those with serious mental health issues.

She added: “The Alzheimer’s Society is doing a great job in helping give a better understanding of dementia and how it affects people so I’m delighted our officers continue to work with the charity on this programme.

“By working together, we can ensure those with dementia, their carers and their loved ones are given an outstanding service by our officers who will have a greater understanding and awareness of the condition.”

For more information on Dementia Awareness Week and the Alzheimer’s Society visit