Dementia Awareness Week
From 18 – 23 May we’re celebrating Dementia Awareness Week to help spread the word that life doesn’t end when dementia begins.
Public awareness of dementia is growing but many do fear that similarly to Cancer’s past reputation as the dreaded “C-word” that dementia has become the “D-word”, with the fear of the illness creating a stigma that many people would ignore than tackle head-on.
This makes Dementia Awareness Week not only important to promote funding opportunities but to make the general public as a whole, knowledgeable and unafraid to discuss this the illness.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is not just one condition but a syndrome, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease, which is broadly seen as a progressive decline of the brain and can affect the sufferer’s cognitive abilities, memory, language and more. It most commonly develops in the elderly but is in no way a natural part of aging and is caused by a variety of brain diseases.
There are over 35 million people living with the disease worldwide with 850,000 of these people being UK residents. Figures have shown that these numbers are projected to double every 20 years meaning that by 2051 the number will rise to 2 million in the UK alone, with a new case being diagnosed every three minutes this year.
A vast majority of people suffering from the illness are found to be in their later years, with 1 in 8 cases being over 80 years old, however this isn’t exclusive to just the older generation with 40,000 UK cases appearing in people under 65.
Unfortunately dementia cannot yet be cured but being aware of early symptoms and contacting your doctor is the best way of limiting the impact of the illness. The most common warning signs are confusion and memory loss, including forgetting your keys or people’s names and also a drastic mood or personality change.
The cost of Dementia
Unfortunately dementia doesn’t only come with a personal cost but a very real financial one too, which has a huge impact on families and friends.
The cost of supporting someone with dementia is severely underfunded with two/thirds of all costs being paid for by the families themselves and their voluntary care work amounting close to £11 billion in unpaid costs.
With so little money available for caring for dementia suffers, it’s of no surprise that research funding is also terribly low. Over 2010/2011 only £73.8 million was spent on dementia research and when you compare it to the £502.8 million spent on cancer research, you can begin to see how far we are from accepting and dealing with the escalating numbers of dementia suffers.
Dementia Awareness Week
Dementia Awareness Week, which takes place between the 17 to the 23 of May, has never been more important.
If you’re in Scotland you could play your part by attending one of the many ‘Tea & Blether” and the ‘Tea in the Park’ campaigns which will be found throughout the country, where you can pop-in, grab a cuppa and talk about dementia, removing the stigma and increasing everyone’s knowledge so that we can face it together.
You can find out more about where both events will take place and also the many attractions that will be lit purple to signal the week here.
Or you could spread the word online with the Alzheimer’s Societies twitter campaign that hopes you’ll try something different during the week which could be a skydive or a just trying a different meal at your favourite restaurant, just be sure to spread your new achievement with the #trysomethingnew hashtag on twitter or by donating £3 to the Alzheimer’s society here.
Any gesture, even only wearing the purple ribbon to signify your support can make a difference in spreading the word of the illness and also the tireless work that charity workers, volunteers and family and friends do to help sufferers and the people they love.
Have you had any experience of supporting a loved one with dementia?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
- Try a new hobby this autumn - October 19, 2018
- Curry recipes for one - October 18, 2018
- Slow cooker pork, shallot and red pepper goulash - October 18, 2018
- Storage hints and tips to make your food last longer - October 17, 2018
- Tips to encourage birds to your garden - October 16, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!