Dementia Awareness Week urges people to confront their concerns and seek advice

Posted: 19/05/2016


Dementia Awareness Week, 15-21 May 2016, encourages anyone who is worried about dementia to confront their concerns and to get in touch with Alzheimer's Society. This year’s campaign highlights the support available for people affected by dementia, whether personally or through a family member or friend.

Alzheimer's Society, the UK charity leading the campaign, provides support and research for those affected by dementia. In the UK, there are about 800,000 people with dementia and it is estimated that around 400,000 people have dementia without knowing it. As the UK population ages, dementia is likely to affect more and more of us. The current number of people living with dementia in the UK is set to rise to over one million by 2051.

Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases such as Alzheimer’s or a series of strokes. The symptoms of dementia may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour. In later stages, a person may also develop physical symptoms such as muscle weakness or weight loss. Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms gradually get worse over time.

Commenting on Dementia Awareness Week 2016, Lucie Prothero, senior associate in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches, said: “A diagnosis of dementia is often devastating to both the person concerned and their loved ones. Although the symptoms of dementia are progressive and on an often unknown timescale, many people with dementia can live full lives with the right support.

“Given the large number of us who will be affected by dementia, is it essential that the public are made aware of the support that is available from charities such as Alzheimer’s Society which can greatly improve the lives of sufferers and their families.

“Over recent years we have seen an increase in enquiries from families of dementia sufferers who are unhappy about the way their loved ones have been cared for in hospital or community-care settings. If the right care and support is not available, it can result in serious falls, dehydration and malnourishment, or pressure sores. Taking care of today’s dementia sufferers needs to remain a health and social care priority and we fully support this year’s campaign to raise awareness of the support available.”

Alzheimer’s Society is urging anyone concerned about dementia to contact them on their National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or email helpline@alzheimers.org.uk for advice and support.


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