Every year, Dementia Actions Week unites people, workplaces, communities and families. It encourages everyone to take action and improve the lives of those living with dementia.

Understanding Dementia

Every three minutes, someone in the UK develops dementia. That means that almost all of us will know someone affected, whether it is directly the sufferer or their loved one. Over the next 20 years, the number of sufferers is expected to double to 240,000 in the UK alone. 

Dementia is a degeneration of the brain that causes a progressive decline in people’s ability to think, reason, communicate and remember. Their personality, behaviour and mood can also be affected. Everyone's experience of this condition is unique and its progression often varies.

Whilst 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia, the condition doesn’t just affect older people. It is classed as ‘young-onset’ when it affects those of working age, usually between 30 and 65 years old. There are over 40,000 people living with dementia under 65 across the UK.

According to Alzheimer’s Society, two-thirds of the cost of this illness is paid by the sufferers and their families. Unpaid carers supporting someone with dementia save the economy £11 billion a year.

Despite it being one of the main causes of disability later in life, ahead of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, as a country we spend much less on dementia than on these other conditions.

Encouraging support

Even though so many within the UK population live with dementia, many sufferers report feeling isolated, cut off from their community and losing their friendships. Dementia Action Week aims to create supportive communities that assist those living with this condition to continue to socialise, take part in activities and remain independent where possible.

It is clear that supporting those living with dementia will also benefit their families, reducing both cost and time impacts on their loved ones.

To support Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society is asking you to get involved. You could:

  • Organise an information stand at your local supermarket, gym or library.
  • Hold an event and invite those living with dementia and their loved ones. If you have any particular talents or interests, such as singing or painting, you can use these to get everyone involved. Or a dance practice would be good!
  • If you enjoy talking to large groups of people, becoming a Dementia Friends champion might be right for you. Champions are trained volunteers who host information sessions encouraging people to learn more about dementia and the ways they can help.
  • Raise funds via a cake sale, raffle, quiz, or any other means you have! The vital money you raise will fund ground-breaking research and support everyone affected by dementia.
  • Simply raise awareness, through conversations with friends and family. Even posting on social media helps to make sure as many people as possible consider those living with dementia, helping to create communities that support people who may need it.

Let's talk about dementia

To find out more, head to: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/categories/campaigns/dementia-action-week

Staying independent

It’s important to remember that whilst sufferers can potentially remain active and independent for many years, there are times when they may become disorientated or forgetful, or they may experience problems with language and speech.

MedicAlert membership ensures that all individuals living with dementia can remain active and join in, knowing that were they to require help their vital information is available instantly. The contact details of loved ones can then be accessed securely via our 24/7 emergency helpline.

All members can appoint one or more advocates to manage their MedicAlert membership and their medical record, as well as their medical ID jewellery order.

To become a MedicAlert member, for yourself or for a loved one living with dementia, please click below.

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