• Dementia itself is not a disease

    The word ‘dementia’ is just an umbrella term for the symptoms caused by these diseases such as memory loss, confusion and personality change.

    Dementia is not an inevitable part of getting older

    while it’s true that the majority of people with dementia are over 65, the condition is not a normal part of getting older.

    Dementia is more than just memory loss


    Most people associate dementia with memory loss, but the condition affects people in a wide variety of ways. That might include changes in behaviour, confusion and disorientation, delusions and hallucinations, difficulty communicating, problems judging speeds and distances and even cravings for particular foods. Everyone’s experience of dementia is different.

    It’s possible to live an independent and active life with dementia

    There are many people in the UK and across the world who are facing dementia head on and developing support mechanisms and strategies to live well with the condition. That includes anything from taking up new hobbies to making new friends or taking part in research.

    Dementia has a bigger impact on women

    With more and more women living well into their 80s, half a million women in the UK are now living with dementia. The condition is the leading cause of death in women in the UK.

    Dementia doesn’t discriminate

    Dementia is a condition that can affect anyone regardless of background, education, lifestyle or status.

    There are no treatments to stop the diseases that cause dementia

    While some treatments can help people to live with their symptoms a little better, there are no treatments that slow or stop diseases like Alzheimer’s. This means that the diseases will continue to get worse over time unless new treatments can be found quickly.

  • Making every church in Cumbria dementia-friendly by 2020

    What is a dementia friendly church?

    • A church that is welcoming and inclusive towards people with dementia and their carers;
    • A church where the church leadership and other members of the congregation help people with dementia to feel safe and orientated within the church environment; 
    • A church where it is OK to get confused and forget things, 
    • A church where people with dementia and their carers feel that they are a valued member.

    Dementia is one of today's major social and medical challenges of our day. There are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and almost 8,000 in Cumbria. CTiC has considered the part the churches should play and has declared the aim of 'making every church in Cumbria dementia-friendly by 2020'.

    'Dementia-friendly' means that the church is welcoming and inclusive towards people with dementia and those who care for them, and that they are valued members of the congregation who are encouraged to stay involved in church activity as long as possible.


    Action at local level is key to the success of this initiative and churches are being asked to find a volunteer 'Dementia Enabler' in their congregation. The challenge of Enablers is to ensure that their church is dementia-friendly in its 'welcome, worship and environment'.


    For more information on the initiative is being led by a Dementia Reference Group. It is chaired by CTiC's Dementia Coordinator, David Richardson. For more information contact David by email.

    Introduction to Becoming a Dementia Enabler

    We think that a Dementia Enabler:

    • Should be, or become, a Dementia Friend and should encourage others to become Dementia Friends also;  
    • Should have a general awareness of the support services that are available in their local community for people affected by dementia.
    • Should encourage the local church or group of churches to become dementia-friendly (in terms of welcome, worship and environment);

    As part of Churches Together in Cumbria's project 'Making every church in Cumbria dementia-friendly by 2020', we are holding a series of half-day events at five locations around the county on Saturday mornings 9.30am-1pm in March:

    The programme will include a Dementia Friends session, a presentation on the role of a Dementia Enabler, and an opportunity for discussion and questions.

    • 4th March Kendal Parish Church
    • 11th March Sands Methodist Church, Appleby
    • 11th March Barrow St Aidans
    • 18th March Carlisle Border Kirk
    • 25th March Crosthwaite Parish Room, Keswick

    It will include a Dementia Friends session, a presentation on the role of the Dementia Enabler and opportunity for discussion and questions.

    Secondly, we are holding a one-day workshop, as follow-up to the March events.

    This will be held at Penrith Methodist Church on Saturday June 10th, and is for everyone who attends in March.


    For more information, you can email David Richardson or phone at 07917 6682535. To book a place email Margaret Irving or phone at 07540 920829. Please specify the name of the church and which event you would like to attend.


    What does ‘dementia-friendly in terms of welcome, worship & environment’ mean?

    These points may be summarised as ‘how’, ‘what’ and ‘where’

    How: how do we communicate with people with dementia and their carers; how do we make people welcome?


    What: what steps can we take to help people with dementia take part in worship? What might dementia-friendly worship entail?


    Where: what can we do (within the constraints of a given place of worship) to ensure that it is accessible for people with dementia and that issues such as safety, signage, use of space and lighting are addressed?

  • 10 things you need to know about the impact of dementia

    on people, carers and the economy

    People with dementia have a lower self-reported quality of life

    this gets progressively worse as the severity of the condition develops.

    700,000 informal carers in the UK caring for a loved one with dementia

    this is expected to rise to 1.7 million by 2050.

    Women are more than two-and-a-half times more likely

    than men to provide intensive, 24-hr care for people with dementia.

    20% of women carers

     have gone from working full time to part time.

    By 2017 it is predicted

    there will not be enough informal carers to look after older people requiring care.

    Dementia costs the UK economy over £24 billion a year,

    this is a combination of health and care costs and the vast contribution made by informal carers.

    62% of female carers

    say the experience is emotionally stressful.

    £28,500 a year.

    Cost of caring for each person with dementia.

    By 2025 it is expected dementia will cost the UK economy £32.5 billion

    and by 2050 it could be costing the UK economy £59.4 billion at today’s prices.

    $818 billion each year

    Globally the cost of dementia.

  • Dementia Resources in the Cumbria & the UK