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Dementia Action Awareness Week 17th - 21st May

What is Dementia Awareness Week?

Dementia Awareness Week is a national event that encourages people to take action to improve the lives of people affected by dementia.

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.

One in three of us born in the UK today will go onto develop dementia in our lifetime.

There will be one million people living with dementia by 2025.

By raising awareness about dementia, through various events across the UK, it is hoped more people will be diagnosed earlier, giving more time for them to come to terms with future symptoms.

What is dementia

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning.

There are many different causes of dementia, and many different types. 

People often get confused about the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia and, together with vascular dementia, makes up the majority of cases.

Symptoms of dementia

Dementia symptoms may include problems with:

  • memory loss
  • thinking speed
  • mental sharpness and quickness
  • language, such as using words incorrectly, or trouble speaking
  • understanding
  • judgement
  • mood
  • movement
  • difficulties doing daily activities

People with dementia can lose interest in their usual activities, and may have problems managing their behaviour or emotions.

They may also find social situations difficult and lose interest in relationships and socialising. 

Aspects of their personality may change, and they may lose empathy (understanding and compassion).

A person with dementia may see or hear things that other people do not (hallucinations). 

Because people with dementia may lose the ability to remember events, or not fully understand their environment or situations, it can seem as if they're not telling the truth or are wilfully ignoring problems.

As dementia affects a person's mental abilities, they may find planning and organising difficult. Maintaining their independence may also become a problem.

A person with dementia will usually need help from friends or relatives, including help with making decisions.

The symptoms of dementia usually become worse over time. In the late stage of dementia, people will not be able to take care of themselves and may lose their ability to communicate.

Source: NHS

If you need dementia support call the Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456.

How can I get involved and take action this Dementia Action Week?

Whether you'd like to get involved individually, at work or as part of your local community, no action is too small.

From putting on a virtual event, to ordering posters and flyers to drop off at your local shop, there are lots of ways to get involved.