The Alzheimer's Society has announced that a million people have now signed up to be "dementia friends" in England. Prime Minister David Cameron called it "one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime".
The government has announced that it will be spending more than Ģ300m to tackle dementia in England over the next parliament. People in all walks of life have been trained to spot the signs of the disease so they can help sufferers.
AdvertisementSessions have been taking place across the country in business offices and town halls to explain what dementia is, what it is like to have the condition and what people can do to help if they meet someone with the symptoms.
Schools, emergency services and companies including Marks & Spencer, Asda and Argos have encouraged their staff to become dementia friends.
A spokesman for the carers trust said, "Two-thirds of people with dementia are cared for at home by their family and friends enabling them to live at home and participate in community life. Carers of people with dementia face particular difficulties due to the complex, unpredictable and progressive nature of the illness, and often have poor health outcomes themselves. Carers need consistent information and support to enable them and the person they are caring for to remain active and well."
There are an estimated 720,000 people with dementia in England, although most have not been diagnosed. Dementia is not a specific disease, rather, it is a general term for a decline in mental ability which is severe enough to interfere with daily life.
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