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05 May 2022

Alzheimer's Society partners with the FA to raise dementia awareness

Football can create many of life’s greatest moments, shared with friends and family. Great games and great goals should be unforgettable. But unfortunately, many people living with dementia will forget.

The number of people living with dementia in the UK could fill Wembley Stadium ten times over. The number whose lives are changed by the condition – carers, family, friends – is many millions higher.

Alzheimer’s Society is The FA’s (The Football Association) official charity partner. As part of the partnership, the nation watched on as the England players returned to the pitch after half time for the recent game against Switzerland with the names missing from their shirts, driving home the idea that football should be unforgettable.

For an England fan, it’s almost unthinkable to forget the name of a player in the national team, but this is a reality for many of those watching the game who are living with dementia.

The powerful gesture illustrated the challenges so many people with dementia face every day. The squad have donated these iconic shirts to auction, raising life-changing funds to ensure everyone has access to Alzheimer’s Society’s vital support services.

England manager Gareth Southgate said, “Our players weren’t just playing for themselves or for their country, they were showing their support for the 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK today.”

“Taking the names off the squad’s shirts draws attention to the reality of living with dementia and I hope it inspires fans up and down the country to get talking about dementia and support Alzheimer’s Society’s crucial work.”

The partnership will help break down the stigma around dementia and create a network of dementia friendly facilities so people affected can continue to stay connected to the game they love.

Alzheimer’s Society will also work with The FA to further understand the causes of dementia and its risk factors, providing expertise and ensuring The FA is prioritising and funding world-class research to best protect players for generations to come.

The partnership has never been more important, with recent statistics from Alzheimer’s Society revealing:
- Dementia is the most worrying health condition for over half of people in the UK (53%)
- A third (35%) would only see their GP after two months of symptoms
- A quarter (27%) would feel uncomfortable talking about their dementia symptoms
- Nearly a fifth (17%) wouldn’t recognise dementia symptoms

The charity partnership will work alongside Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia campaign, which brings together governing bodies and leading figures across football, rugby and cricket, as well as major broadcasters.

Sport United Against Dementia will fund critical research and transform the way sport supports past and present players and fans affected by dementia. The FA partnership will create a blueprint for other sports to follow.

Jamie Smith, Projects & Development Director at Coate Water Care, said, “Given the massive attention the national game can attract, it’s great that the FA is partnering with Alzheimer’s Society to raise awareness and break down any prejudices about the condition.”

“As providers of residential care for people living with dementia, Coate Water Care are strong supporters of the Alzheimer’s Society and all the vital work they do supporting people with the condition as well as their carers and family.”

To find out more about any of Coate Water Care’s nine residential care homes, about the way we care for people living with dementia or to book a viewing please contact our friendly Welcome Team on 01793 821200.

Download a copy of one of our home brochures.

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