There are 1100 good reasons why the people of Tower Hamlets should get involved in Dementia Awareness Week this month.
I say this because that is the number of people who live in Tower Hamlets who are currently living with dementia.
The fact there are more and more people across London who are living with dementia puts into perspective why we should join forces with Alzheimer’s Society staff, their volunteers and other organisations who care about dementia in the area.
One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia and that is why we all need to understand more about the disease so we can make a positive difference to the lives of people with dementia.
With the numbers of people with dementia on the up as we live longer it is increasingly important that we provide good quality information, education, support and care to help people live their lives to the full.
The Alzheimer’s Society and other organisations will be running a whole host of activities in and around London to raise the profile of the vital support services they offer to people with dementia, their carers and their loved ones.
This Dementia Awareness Week is all about opening up. Anyone who’s concerned about dementia is being urge to stop bottling it up and to talk to Alzheimer’s Society today.
If you’re worried that you, or someone close to you, may have dementia, you could feel scared, confused or even ashamed. We all bury our heads in the sand from time to time but it’s important to talk to someone about it. The sooner you know what you’re dealing with, the sooner you can get on with your life and feel in control again.
Dementia Awareness Week is also an important means of raising the profile of Alzheimer’s Society campaigns such as Dementia Friends which aims to recruit one million friends by 2015.
Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers will be out and about throughout Dementia Awareness Week and I would urge everyone to take time out to speak to them because dementia is an issue that we need to tackle together.
It might be just to find out a little bit more about the condition or it might be because you want information on the services that are available.
It might even be because you are worried about a loved one and want guidance on what is the way forward.
Whatever help is required, I am confident that the Alzheimer’s Society will do what they can to provide the best possible help with their expertise and wealth of knowledge.
Much support is only available to those people who have been given a diagnosis of dementia and so can be pointed in the right direction. Too many haven’t been given a diagnosis and that is something the Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to put right.
Whilst there is not yet a cure for dementia, many of the symptoms that can accompany the condition – such as anxiety – can be treated, and there is a whole range of support out there for people who are worried about their memory which Alzheimer’s Society provides.
This means everyone will be affected by dementia in one way or another and we all need to unite to tackle it because it is too much for those in social care and health care to deal with on their way.
We have a collective responsibility to deal with dementia which is now the most feared disease for the over-50s – even more so than cancer.
There are lots of small things that can be done to make life better for people with dementia and engaging with the Alzheimer’s Society and other organisations who step up to the dementia challenge during Dementia Awareness Week is a step in the right direction.Dementia Awareness Week 2014 runs from 18-24 May. Find out more at alzheimers.org.uk/daw2014. If you have any concerns about dementia, you can call Alzheimer’s Society’s National Dementia Helpline for confidential advice, information and support on 0300 222 11 22. You can also email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org