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Salmond visits Alzheimer charity

The Scottish Dementia Working Group helps people to overcome the stigma attached to the condition.

First Minister Alex Salmond offered his support for improving dementia care during a visit in Edinburgh with the Scottish Dementia Working Group.

The working group comprises people with dementia in Scotland and is jointly funded by Comic Relief and Alzheimer Scotland. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia.

"Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Dementia Working Group were extremely pleased to be able to sit down with the First Minister today," an Alzheimer Scotland spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"Being able to discuss the importance of early diagnosis, the vital need for support in local communities and the value of recognising the person behind a diagnosis of dementia was a valuable experience for all involved."

The working group aims to bring together people with dementia to allow them to support each other and challenge the many misconceptions about the condition. It also campaigns for improved provision of services and has advised the medical profession throughout the world.

The group's work has had an impact in Lebanon, Turkey, Portugal, Norway and the US.

There are approximately 63,500 people with dementia in Scotland. This number is expected to increase by 75% to 114,000 by 2031.

Alzheimer Scotland, which helps drive the working group, works year round to campaign for people with dementia and their carers. It offers services across Scotland - both at local projects and within the home.

Each spring the charity organisation concentrates its efforts around Dementia Awareness Week. The campaign includes a national conference, a launch of new reports, information stands in public buildings, advertisements in newspapers and on radio, and talks to local groups.

There is also a 24-hour helpline for anyone to phone - 0808 808 3000.

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Alzheimer Scotland**
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Scottish Dementia Working Group

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