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The Welsh Government is offering schoolchildren access to dementia awareness lessons as part of a widespread Government initiative.
In collaboration with Alzheimer’s Society, Welsh ministers have developed educational materials on dementia for schoolchildren across all primary and secondary schools in Wales.
The new initiative will enable pupils to develop awareness and understanding for those who live with the condition.
With an estimated 45,000 people in Wales living with dementia, a figure set to rise to 100,000 by 2055, Welsh ministers are keen to make the country a “truly dementia-friendly nation”.
Welsh Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams, said: “This starts with education and raising awareness. These resources are essential to developing understanding and compassion.”
England saw a similar project launch in the academic year 2012-13. In conjunction with the former Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge, Alzheimer’s Society introduced its Dementia4School project, in which 22 schools offered dementia awareness sessions.
Although the project did not continue, the Alzheimer’s Society now provides online, curriculum-approved resources for children, teenagers and young adults to help educate them on dementia.
Sue Phelps, director of Alzheimer’s Society in Wales, highlighted the importance of raising awareness and understanding of dementia amongst young people. She said: “We want to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia, tackling the stigma that results in social exclusion, and this starts in the playground.
“Young people today have an important role to play and can change the future for people with dementia in Wales.”