This week is Dementia Awareness Week, led by Alzheimer’s Society, and will take place from 15th – 21st May.
Through Dementia Awareness Week, Alzheimer’s Society increase understanding of dementia amongst the general public and raise awareness of the work they do to help and support people affected by dementia.
This year’s theme is ‘Confront Dementia’. This purpose of this campaign is to ask people to confront their worries by addressing dementia directly. With 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia it is vital that awareness is raised so that people can seek help at the early stages, allowing them to receive the best possible long-term care.
Research published today by the Alzheimer’s Society states that nearly two-thirds of people delay going to their GP last year. People fear that diagnosis would mean their life is over. But it has been proven that an early diagnosis can actually help people to live as well as possible.
There are many possible symptoms of dementia, and anyone experiencing them is encouraged to see a doctor as soon as possible. Common symptoms include:
• Memory loss, especially problems remembering recent events such as messages;
• Periods of mental confusion;
• Difficulty finding the right words;
• Difficulty with numbers of handling money in shops;
• Increasing difficulty with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning; and
• Depression and changes in mood or personality
I want to raise awareness of dementia because too many people are unaware of the symptoms and what action they should take. If we don’t take action now it is predicted that the number of people in the UK with dementia will rise to over two million by 2051.
We need to talk about dementia. By ignoring it we are unable to help our friends and family who have this disease. Having dementia does not mean that your life is over. Once the stigma and fear is eroded away we can continue to work hard in ensuring people with dementia are given the help and support they need.
I hope people will use Dementia Awareness Week to talk about dementia and help out people with dementia.