Early onset dementia sufferer champions cause after helping to form support group
A BOLTON-born champion of the rights of dementia sufferers has spoken of his delight now his “Purple Angel” campaign has gone global.
Norman McNamara, who was brought up in Astley Bridge, moved to Devon 15 years ago where he founded the Torbay Dementia Action Alliance.
It was there that the concept of making shops, banks and other outlets aware of the needs of dementia sufferers and awarding Purple Angels was founded.
This week, a guide for banks and insurers to help improve the everyday lives of people affected by dementia has been launched by Lloyds Banking Group and the Alzheimers Society.
The ‘Dementia-friendly finan-cial services charter’ has been designed to help financial services and organisations rec-ognise, understand and res-pond to the needs of customers living with dementia and their carers.
Together, Lloyds Banking Group and the Alzheimers Society are appealing to banks, building societies, insurance companies and other financial institutions to make a commitment to families affected by the condition, so that people with dementia can plan ahead, access financial services and get help to remain independent for as long as possible.
“Up to 650 businesses signed up for our scheme,” said 56-year-old Mr McNamara, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s himself six years ago.
“In next to no time, Alizheimer’s International took up our cause and the Purple Angel is now recognised as a symbol of hope for sufferers in 79 different countries after only 18 months since the launch.”
Mr McNamara also hailed the work of the Bolton-based Dementia Support Group, in Thicketford Road, and the number of Purple Angels awarded to businesses in his home town.
The former pupil of St Anne’s RC School in Harwood has also had meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron over the dementia problem.
“The Government has ploughed up to £60 million into dementia research since last March,” said Mr McNamara.
“But it’s also about people getting off their backsides and doing something about it, and that is what we have done.
“I’m glad to say that is also the case in Bolton, which is a great example of a town adopting the Purple Angel.”
Mr McNamara, has written books, poems and posted video blogs on the disease.
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