Dementia affects all
The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over one million by 2025. 225,000 will develop dementia before the end of the year, that’s one every three minutes.
Dementia doesn’t care who you are; it could affect us all. Because public understanding is so poor, people with dementia often feel – and are – misunderstood, marginalised and isolated. And that means that they’re less likely to be able to live independently in their own communities.
Low levels of understanding about dementia lead to various misconceptions resulting in perpetuation of stigma which is prevalent in most countries at various levels. People with dementia are often isolated, or hidden, because of stigma or the possibility of negative reactions from neighbours and relatives to behavioural and psychological symptoms. The idea that nothing can be done to help people with dementia often leads to hopelessness and frustration.
It’s time to take action
Urgent action is required to improve the understanding of dementia and so reduce stigma.
From Monday 20 May to Sunday 26 May, it’s Dementia Action Week – a week that unites schools, workplaces and the wider community to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia.
‘I love it when people ask me questions because I feel included. It gives me an opportunity to show that people with dementia exist, that we can still contribute to what’s going on around us and that life goes on. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like me again.’ John, living with dementia
Too many people affected by dementia feel that society fails to understand the condition they live with. Dementia Friends help by raising awareness and understanding, so that people living with dementia can continue to live in the way they want.
The actions from all of us can create supportive communities, where people living with the condition can continue to socialise with others, hop on the bus, go to their favourite shops or take part in local activities for as long as possible.
Too many people are facing dementia alone, so collaboration is vital for improving access to support.
Across the UK, during Dementia Action Week, a number of events (big and small) will take place. This year’s campaign is about inclusion and coming together in communities
Having volunteered to be Dementia Friends Champions, Trudi Scrivener, of Ashridge Home Care, is now delivering Dementia Friends sessions to people across Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire.
You can support us this #DementiaActionWeek2019 by attending one of our dementia talks , sharing all events on your social media pages and talking about it to all friends and family.
Monday 20 May (6.00pm-8.00pm)
Thame , Oxfordshire at The Woodworks Trading Ltd
Tuesday 21 May (10.00am-12.00am)
Tring , Hertfordshire at Champneys Tring
Wednesday 22 May (10.30am-12.30pm)
Amersham , Buckinghamshire at Amersham Museum
Wednesday 22 May (4.00pm-6.00pm)
Princes Risborough , Buckinghamshire at Dukes Wine Bar
Thursday 23 May (12.30pm-14.30pm)
Princes Risborough , Buckinghamshire at Whiteleaf Golf Club