World Alzheimer’s Month – raising awareness and challenging stigma

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma.
Older lady sitting in garden

Each year, Alzheimer and dementia associations, alongside all those involved in the treatment, care and support of people with dementia, from around the world unite to organise advocacy and information provision events, as well as Memory Walks and fundraising days.

The impact of this campaign is growing but the stigmatisation and misinformation that surrounds dementia remains a global issue. September 2021 will mark the tenth World Alzheimer’s Month campaign.

The month of activities shows a truly global, regional, national and local level response to promote dementia awareness and what we can do to help support those living with the disease.

Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s

The focus for this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month campaign is diagnosis, stimulated by recent developments, and potential breakthroughs, in both dementia treatment and diagnostics.

The World Alzheimer Report 2021 is also focused on diagnosis and will launch on 21 September. The report looks at the role of government, healthcare professionals, and civil society in diagnosis, highlighting gaps, and shining a light on the experiences of people who are living with dementia and their families.

In conjunction with this, the campaign aims to encourage people to recognise the potential warning signs of dementia and to understand the importance of a timely dementia diagnosis, motivating concerned individuals to seek out information, advice and support - ultimately with the aim of challenging the stigma that surrounds its diagnosis.

This builds on the previous World Alzheimer’s Month theme of ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia,’ aimed at raising global awareness around dementia and challenging the stigma that continues to persist globally.

The 2021 campaign theme, Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s, is all about the power of knowledge. Once you know more about dementia, once you are armed with information, advice and support, you are better able to prepare and to adapt. Knowledge is power!

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10 Warning Signs of Dementia

What is dementia?

Dementia is a collective name for progressive degenerative brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are the most common types of dementia and are responsible for up to 90% of cases of dementia.

Symptoms may include:

  • loss of memory
  • difficulty in finding the right words or understanding what people are saying
  • difficulty in performing previously routine tasks
  • personality and mood changes

Dementia knows no social, economic or geographical boundaries. Although each person will experience dementia in their own way, eventually those affected are unable to care for themselves and need help with all aspects of daily life.

There is currently no cure for dementia, with some limited treatments, focussing attention on the importance of care, information, advice and support.

Every 3 seconds, someone in the world develops dementia.

The number of people living with dementia around the world is over 50 million, which is expected to triple to 152 million by 2050.

Dementia is now widely recognised as one of the most significant health crises of the 21st century.

Contact us for support or advice

If you need help accessing services or support for someone with dementia, please contact us at Healthwatch West Sussex and we can help you find the right service for your needs:

0300 012 0122

helpdesk@healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk

Local support in West Sussex

  • Tapestry Day Club have clubs running across Horsham District and in other areas of West Sussex. The clubs are for small groups of older people who are lonely or socially isolated due to the pandemic and/or are living with early stage dementia.
  • Carers Support West Sussex is an independent charity supporting some of the 89,000 family and friend carers living in West Sussex.
  • West Sussex Libraries have a huge collection of resources online for people with dementia. Resources include singing and reminiscence sessions to watch at home, as well as wellbeing and bereavement support.
  • Dementia Support offers Wayfinding to help guide families through their personal dementia journeys, as well as day care, a range of activities for those living with dementia and their carers, therapy rooms, a hair salon, a smart zone with equipment and technology to support independent living and a café.

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