Gillian has written an open letter to businesses across the Chichester Constituency to become Dementia Friends.
The scheme run by the Alzheimer’s Society helps businesses to become more accessible to people with dementia and gives useful tips on how best to recognise and respond to someone with dementia.
The local campaign being championed by Gillian comes ahead of Dementia Action Week that falls from the 17th to 23rd May. In Chichester, 1,293 people are living with a diagnosis of dementia. Two-thirds of people with a diagnosis of dementia still live in the community and, unsurprisingly, most want to continue to live their life as they have been for as long as possible.
In her letter to local businesses, the MP highlighted her own experiences with members of her family having lived with dementia including both her grandmothers.
Gillian said, “Becoming a dementia friend is quick and easy and can make all the difference to people who may find themselves confused by their surroundings. I have had experience with Dementia in my family and schemes like this are a fantastic way to help people live a normal life for as long as possible.”
Dawn Fairbrother, West Sussex Community Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Society said, “People living with dementia have been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. I am delighted our local MP Gillian Keegan is engaging businesses in our Dementia Friends initiative throughout Dementia Action Week and really reinvigorating Chichester’s Dementia Friendly status, as businesses slowly start to open up again. With 15,370 people living with dementia in West Sussex alone and 850,000 people across the UK, this could not come at a better time. Dementia Action Week is a great time to become a Dementia Friend and support our work and the work of Alzheimer’s Society.”
Gillian has created a campaign page on her website where businesses can go to find out how to become a dementia friend in just three simple steps - https://www.gilliankeegan.com/campaigns/making-chichester-dementia-friendly