Monday 20th May 2019 marks the start of Dementia Awareness Week.
The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.
Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.
The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society’s research shows that many people are worried about ‘saying the wrong thing’ to people living with dementia. And despite almost all of us knowing someone affected, two-thirds of people living with dementia report feeling isolated and lonely.
That’s why, for this year’s Dementia Action Week, The Alzheimer’s Society are encouraging everyone to take action by starting a conversation with someone living with dementia they know; whether it’s calling a relative with dementia or visiting a neighbour.
Even in the later stages of dementia when having a conversation might become difficult, keeping in touch means a lot. Seeing friends and loved ones brings feelings of happiness and comfort, and the ‘emotional memory’ remains with people living with dementia long after the memory of the visit may have gone.
If you would like to get more involved with The Alzheimer’s Society or want to find services near you please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk