Dementia Awareness Week is an annual event supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, a UK charity which provides support and research for those affected by dementia. This Dementia Awareness Week is all about opening up – anyone who’s concerned about dementia is encouraged to speak to the Alzheimer’s Society.
In the UK, there are about 800,000 people with dementia; it is estimated that around 400,000 people have dementia but do not know it. By raising awareness about this condition, it is hoped that more people will be diagnosed earlier, giving more time for them to come to terms with future symptoms.
Each year ‘Remember the Person’ is the recurring theme for Dementia Awareness Week. In an advanced stage, a person with dementia may not be able to communicate and express themselves. Sadly, in some cases where symptoms of dementia have advanced, friends of people with dementia no longer visit them. People are encouraged to ‘remember the person’ and treat those suffering from the condition in the same manner as they would have done before. Despite the ‘wall of dementia’, even at an advanced stage people with dementia can sometimes indicate they are aware of those around them; they are still ‘there’.
The week is also a time to support the work of the Alzheimer’s Society through various fundraising activities. Money raised during Dementia Awareness Week goes a long way to support people with dementia and their families. Support can take the form of information, practical advice, emotional support through the society’s Dementia Advisors, or through visits by an experienced dementia support worker.
Throughout the week there will be national and regional press coverage, awareness-raising and fundraising events, and a national advertising campaign. In Newcastle, there will be a ‘Singing for the brain’ concert at the Northern Stage on 18th May.
More information on Dementia Awareness Week and the condition can be found here.
Blog by Ronagh Craddock, Trainee Solicitor