Written by Active Minds on Friday the 24th of February 2017.
With dementia increasing year on year, and an estimated 1 million people to be diagnosed by 2025, it is now more important than ever that awareness of dementia and its effects are spread far and wide. You can help raise awareness yourself – anything you undertake, no matter how big or small, will help educate and encourage a greater understanding of dementia.
Share Your Story
Whether it is you who has been diagnosed with dementia, or a loved one, people want to hear your story; don’t be afraid to share it.
This can either be just by chatting about it informally to friends or attending dementia support groups where you are encouraged to share your story.
You can take it a step further by writing a personal piece and publishing it online. You may even want to consider starting a blog, detailing your relationship with dementia and how it affects you on a day to day basis.
People respond incredibly well to personal stories, and by sharing your own journey you will encourage more discussion, questions, exploration and awareness of the disease.
There are a number of well-respected dementia charities in the UK who are always looking for volunteers, not only to help fundraise but also spread awareness.
Dementia Friends is a wonderful organisation, that educates its volunteers (Dementia Friends) on what it’s like to live with dementia, and how you can turn that understanding into action. You can also volunteer to become a Dementia Friends Champion, where you are trained to encourage others to learn a little bit about dementia. Champions then run Information Sessions in their community and inspire others to help those living with dementia to live well.
Throughout the year there is a number of dementia awareness campaigns. They not only help raise money but also educate on the issues people who are living with dementia face, as well as the effects the diagnosis has on those around them.
For example, at the beginning of March, Dementia UK run Time For A Cuppa, a week-long fundraising event, where people are encouraged to host tea parties, raise money and have open discussions about dementia. The money raised goes towards funding Admiral Nurses who provide an essential support system for people living with dementia and their families.
But you don’t have to wait for these campaigns to come about, you can also organise your own fundraising event. Whether this is a quiz night or a sponsored walk, just by setting up a fundraising page and posting about your event via social media, you are creating a greater awareness of dementia, whilst simultaneously raising money for a fantastic cause.
Involve Your Work
Encourage your workplace to raise awareness of dementia within their organisation. This can be by organising a fundraising event, such as an office cake-sale, or taking steps towards becoming a dementia-friendly workplace.
Alzheimer’s Society has created a guide for employers to help them gain an understanding of dementia, how it impacts organisations and the practical steps they can take to support and educated employees, clients and customers.