Dementia Action Week - Together we can improve dementia diagnosis
Find out the small steps you can take this Dementia Action Week to raise awareness around dementia diagnosis…
Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
Asking the same question, over and over again. It’s not called getting old, it’s called getting ill.
If you or a loved one are experiencing memory loss, it could be a sign of dementia.
Recent research, conducted with over 1000 people affected by dementia, shows that the misconception that symptoms like memory loss are a sign of normal ageing is the biggest barrier to people seeking a dementia diagnosis. This includes rapid forgetfulness, a type of memory loss common in dementia and often demonstrated by repeating the same information and questions.
Why is getting a diagnosis so important?
Diagnosis rates have fallen to a five-year low due to Covid-19. Alzheimer's Society estimates there are tens of thousands of people currently living with undiagnosed dementia. This means they don’t have access to the vital care and support that a diagnosis can bring.
Getting a diagnosis can be daunting, but we believe it’s better to know. And so do 91% of people affected by dementia.
Dementia Action Week, running from 16th to 22nd May, is an Alzheimer's Society campaign encouraging individuals and organisations across the UK to act on dementia. This year the focus is on raising awareness around getting a diagnosis and encouraging those who are concerned that they or someone close to them may be experiencing signs of dementia to come to Alzheimer's Society for support.
“I first noticed problems with my spelling and I was also making mistakes when driving, like a missed turning. I would get agitated at myself. I felt very depressed and frustrated at what I was experiencing, so receiving a diagnosis in 2017 was a relief. I knew there was something wrong, but I didn’t know what. When I was told, I knew how it was, how to fight it. Before that it was like holding a blank map, I had to go somewhere but there were no directions." - Mary, living with dementia.
Over 9 in 10 people affected by dementia say getting a diagnosis has benefited them. These benefits include being able to:
- Plan for the future - receive practical advice from professionals and organisations
- Feel a sense of relief knowing what’s going on
An early diagnosis will also help people avoid reaching a possible crisis point. Of those Alzheimer's Society spoke to who waited to get a diagnosis for two or more years, 3 in 5 wished they had got that diagnosis sooner.
Alzheimer’s Society can support you
If you are concerned that yourself or someone close to you may be experiencing signs of dementia, seek support from Alzheimer's Society. They can offer guidance and practical advice on what next steps to take, what to expect during and after the diagnosis process, and what support is available throughout.
Take Action – Become a Dementia Friend
Spread the word – let people know about the support they can get by sharing our video on your social media channels. Make sure you tag your posts with #DAW2022 and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Become a Dementia Friend - A Dementia Friend is someone who learns a little bit about what it is like to live with dementia and understands the little ways that they can help to create more dementia-friendly communities. You'll also feel better equipped to support friends, family, colleagues and neighbours affected by dementia. Become a Dementia Friend today by watching Alzheimer's Society's online videos here and using code WILKO12345.
Together we'll have lots of little wins against dementia.