David Cameron in concert with the Alzheimer's Society .The Dementia Friends plan is being launched by U.K. Prime Minister
The program is designed to change the way society thinks about dementia and persons living with dementia in the U.K.
When I first read about this new program I started discussing it with others I know in the Alzheimer's community.
I was surprised to learn that they didn't think it was going to be possible to recruit 1,000,000 volunteers for the program. I beleive they can, I know they will. I'll describe my rational below.
I was not completely surprised when some in the U.K. started writing negatively about the program. Some said it was the wrong approach, others complain it doesn't do enough, or should have an entirely unrelated agenda. I couldn't disagree more. I might add the announcement of the program was met with almost unanimous praise.
The Dementia Friends program is simple and straightforward:
Dementia Friends aims to make everyday life better for people with dementia by changing the way the nation thinks, talks and acts.
The goal of Dementia Friends is to involve an entire nation, an entire society, in understanding how dementia works, and how persons living with dementia feel.
Dementia Friends will end the stigma that is now attached to dementia patients.
Albert Einstein wrote
“The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.”
Many believe he was talking about how money compounds. In fact, he was talking about the how the compound interest and knowledge of mankind compounds.
Dementia Friends will draw on the compound interest of an entire society. It will change dementia from a medical only problem, into a societal problem. And then society will change the way they think about persons living with dementia. It will unleash a tidal wave of compassion, caring, and empathy. All of which already resides within us.
For those who think 1,000,000 volunteers is ambitious consider this.
The Alzheimer's Society has already received the funding to complete this mission.
The biggest onus will be on the original 6,000 friends who will be required to train a grand total of 15 new dementia friends.
That my friends explains how the compound interest of mankind can create a movement.
As for those who are complaining about the program. Relax. Try and imagine what a million kind, compassionate, loving people might be able to accomplish when organized.
The sky is the limit for dementia patients and their caregivers living in the U.K.
What are friends for anyway?
The program will take root around the world. Be patient.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The ARR knowledge base contains more than 3,811 articles with more than 306,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room