Dementia Awareness Week 2015

17 May 2015

Monday 18 May-Sunday 24 May 2015 is Dementia Awareness Week. The week is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society-a UK charity which provides support and research for those affected by dementia.

In the UK there are currently about 800,000 people with dementia. Dementia is a term given to a group of symptoms from certain diseases which affect the brain. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, communication problems and changes in mood.

Five things you should know about dementia according to the Alzheimer’s Society:

1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. Many people do become more forgetful as they get older or during times of stress or illness, however dementia is a different sort of forgetfulness. Memory loss will be more noticeable and may be accompanied by mood changes and confusion.

2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain. Symptoms of dementia are brought about by a number of diseases that cause changes in the brain. The most common disease is Alzheimer’s disease which changes the chemistry and structure of the brain causing the brain cells to die. Other types of dementia include vascular dementia and Pick’s disease.

3. It’s not just about losing your memory. Dementia is more than memory loss, it can also affect affect the way people think, speak, perceive things, feel and behave.

4. It’s possible to live well with dementia.The image of living with dementia is often very bleak, however many people with dementia continue to drive, socialise and hold down satisfying jobs. Even as dementia progresses, many people lead active, healthy lives, continue their hobbies and enjoy loving friendships and relationships.

5. There’s more to a person than the dementia. Life doesn’t end when dementia begins. Dementia does not change who the individual is, it just means they will need more help and support to keep doing the things they enjoy.

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In September 2014, Laura of SJA International ran the Bristol half marathon to raise nearly £500 for the Alzheimer’s Society and in October 2015, Jo Edwards will be taking part in the Great South Run raising money for Dementia.

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