Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society Angela Rippon CBE, is calling on the travelling public to unite against dementia to reduce isolation and loneliness
Date published: 25 February 2020
Across Oldham an estimated 2,493 people are living with dementia and 850,000 are affected UK-wide.
Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes and too many face the condition alone.
Alzheimer’s Society has joined up with Department for Transport on their ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ campaign, to address the fact that too many disabled people, including people with dementia, don’t feel confident using public transport.
Two-thirds of people living with dementia in the UK, live in the community and less than half (47%) of people living with dementia feel like they are a part of their community. Transport can be a lifeline in helping people retain their independence to go shopping, collect their prescriptions, go to a hospital or doctors appointment or visit friends and family.
We want a society where people think and act differently about dementia. So we are calling on the travelling public to help beat the isolation and loneliness faced by people affected by learning more about some simple steps to support people with disabilities to travel:
Please be patient and take your time – support people living with dementia and other conditions by allowing people some extra time, should they require it. This could be using ticket barriers, finding a seat or getting onto a bus.
Please be considerate and aware of your fellow passengers - by offering help if someone looks lost or keeping the noise down if anyone looks visibly distressed to help reduce people’s anxieties.
Please be prepared to give up the priority seat – dementia is one of many disabilities which is not visible, so please be aware of other passengers and be prepared to give up the priority seat to anyone who might need it.
Please respect accessible toilet users – an accessible (disabled) toilet is not just a facility for wheelchair users. Please respect the fact that not all disabilities are visible and you may not always be aware of someone’s accessibility needs.
Every person in Oldham can join this movement by becoming a Dementia Friend which allows you to learn more about what it's like to live with dementia, and then turn that understanding into action. In England and Wales there are already over 3.25 million Dementia Friends taking action to make a difference – but we need to do more.
Transport is at the heart of our lives and we all have the power to collectively create a more supportive travel environment for people living with dementia, and other conditions. We owe it to the 850,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia to understand the condition better, so that they can live better.
Unite against dementia and become a Dementia Friend to learn more dementiafriends.org.uk and find out more about the campaign at everyonesjourney.campaign.gov.uk/
The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Oldham Chronicle.