A RHUDDLAN couple have become Dementia Friends Champions, following an initiative launched by the Alzheimer's Society.
Chris and Jayne Roberts volunteered to train as Dementia Friends, an scheme that aims to improve people’s understanding of the condition, after Mr Roberts was diagnosed with vascular dementia, Alzheimer's and emphysema 12 months ago.
The 52-year-old and his wife dedicate their time to raising awareness of the condition and in creating a dementia friendly high street.
Mr Roberts, who has five children and two grandchildren, said: “The Dementia Friends has been brilliant. We’ve been in and out the house - I was there at the official launch in February and I did a talk at the Millennium Stadium.”
Mrs Roberts added: “We had the same misconceptions as the rest of the population until it came into our lives and turned it upside now.
“By being collectively aware, we can offer support. Something as simple as being more patient at a supermarket checkout when someone is struggling can alleviate a stressful situation.”
As part of the initiative, Chris and Jayne have been calling on businesses to make themselves dementia friendly by offering training to their staff.
Staff at 44 Homebase and Argos stores across Wales as well as branches of Marks and Spencers and Lloyds Banking group are now set to become part of the scheme.
Mr Roberts added: “This is all very important to me - especially for people to be able to recognise the symptoms.
“You have to keep your mind active. I have my own blog and I write poems, they can be a bit dark, but they help.
“My wife and I were in property rental - so being self employed, I was in a good place to be given bad news.
“I can’t drive and I don’t work too much now, but you can’t look back.”
Employers interested in offering Dementia Friends sessions to their staff should visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To read Mr Robert’s blog visit http://mason4233.wordpress.com