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Alzheimer Scotland charity to announce dementia landmark

Geoff Orry is a member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)
Geoff Orry is a member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)

ALZHEIMER Scotland will announce tomorrow that 60,000 people in the country have signed up to become Dementia Friends.

With 90,000 people already living with dementia in Scotland and 20,000 per year expected to be diagnosed by 2020, greater understanding of the illness has never been more important.

The Dementia Friends initiative aims to give more insight into the condition and the challenges faced by people with dementia, transforming the way the nation acts, thinks and talks about it.

Geoff Orry, 75, was diagnosed with vascular dementia last year and says the support and understanding he has received since has transformed him.

“My life came to a standstill when I was diagnosed and my first reaction was to be ashamed – I didn’t want anyone to know,” said Geoff, speaking on the eve of Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week.

“I didn’t know what the future held, how long I would live, how long before I went into a care home – it all seemed to be bad news.

“But then I joined Alzheimer Scotland and very quickly things changed.

“I think it’s wonderful that so many people have become Dementia Friends to help break down the stigma of dementia.”