Sir George Young gave a warm welcome to the Alzheimer’s Society mascot when the yellow elephant visited Parliament to highlight the start of this year’s Alzheimer’s Awareness Week.
The theme of the week, which runs from 4 – 10 July 2004, is children, younger people and dementia. When someone in the family develops dementia everyone is affected. Children and young people need support in understanding what is happening to a relative who no longer remembers their name, or who starts to act differently.
Sir George said:
'I am very happy to be supporting the Alzheimer's Society in Alzheimer's Awareness Week and am delighted to have been given the opportunity to meet its colourful elephant mascot. We must help everyone – whatever their age – cope with the impact of dementia. More than 715 people living in Hampshire North West have dementia and more than three times that number are affected by the consequences.'
A groundbreaking short film has made by the Alzheimer’s Society which features children of different ages talking about how their lives have been affected by having a close family relative diagnosed with dementia. It is hoped that schools across the country will use it as an opportunity to encourage children to talk about their own experiences and to help them understand more about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said:
'I am delighted that Sir George Young MP is supporting Alzheimer's Awareness Week. Twenty-five years ago, the odds stacked against the Society’s survival were almost overwhelming. Today, we have achieved more than our founders might have believed possible. With so many people behind us, we will be able to continue our vital work to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers.’