The Times & Speaker has become the first dementia friendly newspaper in Scotland.
We welcomed Dementia Friends programme manager Anne McWhinnie and community activity organiser Gabriela Mitas from Alzheimer Scotland to our Hope Street office who gave a presentation on the preferred use of language when reporting on dementia.
Alzheimer Scotland is keen to move away from many of the stigmas associated with the condition, which have been shown to cause upset in those with dementia, and the Dementia Friends programme has five key messages:
Dementia is not a natural part of ageing; dementia is caused by brain diseases; dementia is not just about losing your memory; it is possible to live well with dementia; and there is more to the person than the dementia.
Anne said: “Dementia Friends aims to raise awareness of dementia in the public domain as well as working with businesses and organisations to give them a better idea of how they can support their customers.
“I am delighted that the Times & Speaker, which is a huge supporter of Alzheimer Scotland, has become Dementia Friends.
“The media can play a huge role is raising awareness so when writing any news stories around dementia we would encourage newspapers to be engaged with the organisation to look at how we support people with dementia, how we are enabling them to live well and the services that are out there for them to live well.
“I think through the Dementia Friends programme we are starting to change the perception of dementia because people have a better understanding of how it is to live with the condition.
“We currently have nearly 14,000 Dementia Friends, our aim is to triple that in the next year and would like everybody to engage in the programme and ultimately create a Dementia Friendly Scotland.”
For more information on becoming a Dementia Friend visit Demenentia Friends Scotland