This week until the 9 June it is Dementia Awareness Week in Scotland which aims to raise awareness of how people can help improve the lives of those living with dementia.
Dementia is a broad term, which is used to describe different conditions which affect brain function, including Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia.
According to Alzheimer Scotland, there are 90,000 people in Scotland currently living with dementia. In the UK, there are 850,000 people with dementia with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. On average, 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia, and 70% of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems. With these statistics in mind however, it is important to be aware that everyone experiences dementia in their own way.
Raising awareness is important in helping to challenge the misconceptions around dementia. It is not a natural part of aging, it does not only affect older people, nor is it just about memory loss. Dementia has many symptoms, including difficulties with familiar everyday tasks such as handling money, following recipes, struggling to keep up with a conversation, forgetting the right words, and sometimes it can cause changes in mood or behaviour for instance becoming more easily upset.
Dementia Awareness Week, run by the Alzheimer Scotland, is raising awareness of the importance of dementia research, the impact it can have and the vital need for new research volunteers. The aim is to also ensure more people than ever have access to dementia care, information and support, and raise awareness to spread the word about dementia.
For friends and family members, it can often be difficult to know what to say to people living with dementia, as poor word choices can be frustrating for everyone involved. This video from Alzheimer’s Society where children interviewed people with dementia is really impactful and demonstrates that people are still themselves, all by asking the right questions.
Being mindful on approaches towards people with dementia can make all the difference. Small changes to interactions can be significant, whether it is rephrasing how questions are asked, speaking slower, or being more patient. There is lots of help and guidance out there, which advises individuals to know the right things to say to people living with dementia, and tips for things to avoid.
At Cramond Residence, we provide high quality personalised dementia, nursing and respite care. Our care and support can empower family, friends and staff members to help them understand dementia and how it can affect individuals differently. Understanding this can be invaluable.
Join the conversation on social media #DementiaAwareness