AS PART of this week’s Dementia Awareness Week health experts in Worcestershire are urging people in the county to speak up if they are afraid they or a loved one is developing the condition.

With dementia estimated to touch the lives of about 21 million people in England in some way, Public Health England and the Alzheimer’s Society have launched a campaign calling on people to sign up as Dementia Friends.

More than 665,000 people in England suffer from dementia including more than 8,500 in Worcestershire alone, with this figure set to rise above 10,000 by 2020.

Anyone signing up as a Dementia Friend pledges to support someone suffering from the condition and is invited to attend an information session where they can learn how to help.

Chief clinical lead for NHS South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Carl Ellson has thrown his support behind the campaign.

“One in three of us over the age of 65 will develop dementia - an incredibly high statistic," he said.

“But people with dementia can live well, and it is the responsibility of the rest of the community to help them do so.

“It is only by personally understanding the issues that people living with dementia face, can we fully appreciate the challenges they have to overcome on a day-to-day basis.

“By participating in the short information session to become a Dementia Friend, you are playing crucial role in helping us take one step closer to creating a dementia-friendly society.”

The theme of Dementia Awareness Week is ‘Don’t bottle it up’ and asks people not to be scared to talk to someone if they are worried that they or someone close to them may have dementia.

Anyone concerned about dementia can contact the Alzheimer’s Society by calling 0300 222 1122 or emailing

For more information on becoming a Dementia Friend visit