COMMUNITY COLUMN: Dementia could hit any of us

by Karen Johnson
South Holland District Council community development officer

This week has been Dementia Awareness Week, with the initiative aimed at making more people aware of the key facts about this disease.

The Alzheimer’s Society in Lincolnshire has been encouraging residents to unite against dementia, to forget their differences to help to find a cure, improve care, and offer help and understanding for people with dementia.

Dementia doesn’t care who you are; it could affect any of us. It is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes and so many people are facing it alone.
People with dementia often feel they are misunderstood and isolated but with the right support, care and understanding they can continue to live fulfilling lives and make a contribution to their communities.

As part of the week, South Holland’s residents have been registering as Dementia Friends. Dementia Friends was launched in February 2013 by Alzheimer’s Society. It is a trailblazing initiative that aims to help people understand what it might be like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action.

Already more than 1.9 million people have become Dementia Friends across the country. Another free Dementia Friends information session is being run tomorrow (Friday, 11am-noon) at Tonic Health, Spalding (PE11 2AF). Everybody is welcome.
A total of 1,575 people over 65 years old are living with dementia in South Holland. By 2021, one million people across the UK will be living with the disease. It is anticipated that this will increase to two million by 2051.

Dementia costs the UK economy over £26billion per year: the equivalent of more than £30,000 per person with dementia. If every person committed to one action this could have significant benefits to people with dementia living in our communities.

For more information contact the council’s communities team at or call 01775 761161 or visit

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