Dementia Awareness Week

Written by Ryan on Thursday the 11th of May 2017.

News

Even though dementia is set to be leading cause of death in the 21st Century, there is still very little known about the disease. People diagnosed with the condition, and their family, can often feel isolated and confused as awareness and understanding still remains low.

There are approximately 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and an estimated 36 million people worldwide. The UK’s rapidly aging population will only continue to increase pressures on the care sector, and families and society more widely.

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With these figures rapidly rising and so many more families being affected, we think it is important to make sure that we can talk openly about Dementia. More so with children as they will most likely be confused by some of the situations which may be going on around them. It is vital that they know not to feel guilty if their elderly relatives get overwhelmed or confused and are taught how to deal appropriately with those types of situations.

Active Minds have put together some conversation starters and tips to share with younger children to help them understand what dementia is:

  • When someone is living with dementia, it means their brain starts to forget some of the things they learnt throughout their lives and they start finding it harder to do normal things that they used to be able to do.
  • They can get easily confused. This is not very nice, and people with dementia can become very sad when they don’t understand things that they used to.
  • If they are confused or irritated, it is not your fault. Give them some space, and try again later.
  • Ask questions if you are unsure. You can ask a parent or even carer or nurse.
  • Find calming activities you can both enjoy together such as:
    • Jigsaws and other Puzzles
    • Spend time looking through old photographs
    • Go for short walks together
    • Talk about your memories of things you have enjoyed with them.

The Alzheimer’s Society are fighting against dementia and urging everyone across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to unite during Dementia Awareness Week (14th – 20th May). The aim of the week is to; raise awareness; encourage conversation; offer help and understanding; improve care and find a cure.

There are a number of ways you can get involved including organising your own fundraising event or attending one near you.

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For more information on what you can do to help raise dementia awareness, and to find an event near you, please visit the Dementia Awareness Week website here.