Resident house doctor on This Morning, Dr. Ranj Singh has joined the Dementia Friends Campaign to help raise awareness of dementia amongst South Asian communities.

The Dementia Friends campaign aims to give people an understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia, dispel common myths and the stigma associated with the disease, which exist within South Asian communities, and encourage people to become Dementia Friends, to help those living with the disease. He said, ‘It takes patience, kindness and a little bit of knowledge to help people living with dementia.

"In South Asian communities in particular, dementia may be ignored, dismissed as ‘madness’ or a shameful illness and, quite often, the community lacks sensitivity and tolerance. It’s time to dispel these myths and actually understand what it means to have dementia.

2Becoming a Dementia Friend is an excellent way to do this. It gives you all the information you need on supporting someone with dementia.

"For people with dementia, having positive and supportive people surrounding you can make such a big difference.

"A little bit of support can go a long way. It’s important for people to realise that people with dementia can lead independent, high-quality lifestyles, if they have the right help. Become a Dementia Friend with me so we can grow together into a supportive society."

Established by Public Health England and Alzheimer’s Society, the campaign tackles one of the biggest health issues facing society.

Of the 665,000 people in England and Wales living with dementia, it is estimated that approximately 25,000 are from ethnic minority communities. This figure is expected to rise significantly as the ethnic minority population ages.

By 2026 it is likely to have doubled to nearly 50,000 and by 2051 to over 172,000 – representing a seven-fold increase in 40 years.

The campaign specifically targets South Asian communities as it is more likely that dementia is more common among these groups.

This is because high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and heart disease, which are risk factors for dementia, are more common among these ethnic groups.

Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain. There are over 100 types of dementia and the most common is Alzheimer’s. It mainly affects (but is not restricted to) people over 65 years of age. It is not, as widely believed, a natural part of ageing, and can affect anybody regardless of race or social background.

The initiative forms part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, and builds on commitments declared at the 2013 G8 Dementia Summit, which included a call to improve the quality of life for people living with the disease.

To become a Dementia Friend, visit and watch the short video, or find an information session run by a Dementia Friends champion (a trained volunteer) in your area.

The full film of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ is also available to view on the site.