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GADS set to launch Dementia Friends next week

Dementia Friends will be launched in Gibraltar next week by GADS, the Gibraltar Alzheimer’s and Dementia Society.
The aim is to change the way people think, act and talk about Dementia with the long term commitment of creating a community in which people living with dementia feel more understood and included in society.
Chairperson Daphne Alcantara talks of GADS vision to develop a Dementia Friendly Community locally and help everyone to understand, de-stigmatise and reduce social isolation with a diagnosis of dementia.
The society is fully committed to raising awareness of Alzheimer’s and Dementia and to offering support and guidance to those living with dementia, their families and carers in Gibraltar.
With over 400 people diagnosed with dementia in Gibraltar, a number which is growing each year says Mrs Alcantara, GADS believes it is essential the community is given the right information required to be able to recognise the symptoms associated with dementia.
Aware that building a Dementia Friendly Community will take time, she insists that GADS wants to take the lead in making sure that whether people are being cared for in their home, hospital or in a care home the staff who work with them have the knowledge and skills.
“Everyone is entitled to know what they are entitled to, so that they can be sure they are getting the right care and support, at the right time and at the right place; from early diagnosis - GP’s and other health professionals to give information and advice about dementia as part of the Gibraltar Health Authority’s health check programme and refer those in need for assessments if they need it,” she further insists.
To launch Dementia Friends next Thursday, GADS has invited a Senior International Officer from Alzheimer’s Society UK Dementia Friends UK. The launch will be at 6.30pm at the Med Rowing Club.
Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society UK initiative which was launched in the UK in 2013 to give as many people an understanding of dementia and some of the actions everyone can take to help those living with the condition.
Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways it can help.
“Anyone can become a Dementia Friend you don’t need any previous experience or knowledge of dementia. Give us a little bit of your valuable time and make a world of difference to people with dementia. Join us – help us make sure nobody in Gibraltar faces dementia alone” says Mrs Alcantara.
GADS wants to provide the best care for people living with dementia and engage them in everyday life.
Mrs Alcantara acknowledges they are just at the start of a journey and believes it is essential that as a society GADS helps increase public and professional awareness to ensure that both the public and professionals have the full facts with the need for better education and training for professionals so that they can better understand those living with dementia.

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