As we begin Dementia Awareness Week, The Alzheimer’s Society has launched its biggest ever awareness campaign – United Against Dementia. New statistics show that dementia is set to become the 21st century’s biggest killer, someone develops dementia every 3 minutes in the UK and if people wish to save to pay for dementia care in the same way that they would a pension, it would take 125 years to accrue sufficient funds (see the details here).
The premise of the campaign is that dementia is indiscriminate – anyone can develop it and it will affect everyone in some way. They are therefore urging people to come together – at a time when society is very divided - and help fight the disease; by donating, by campaigning, by becoming a Dementia Friend or just by gaining a better understanding of the disease.
We believe that dementia care needs to not only meet people’s physical needs but their emotional needs as well. Too many people living with dementia can become frightened, anxious and confused. Many of our dementia products are designed to either minimise these feelings – eg by showing them where they are or where they need to be (dementia wayfinding, dementia signage, memory boxes, wall murals etc) and by providing the option to have a mirror or to take it away (reversible mirrors) - or engage them through nostalgia and familiarity (memory boxes, retro TVs, wall murals, Picture This etc). We think that all care homes and dementia wards would benefit from all of these products but we also know that that funding is an issue and priorities have to be made when allocating budgets. Products such as these which help with emotional well-being are often given less of a priority than physical care when money is tight.
The Alzheimer’s Society is calling on the next government to create a long term sustainable system for funding dementia care.
Knowing what we do about dementia, we would urge everyone to learn more about the disease and sign up to The Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign to get involved.
Dementia Awareness Week runs from 14th to 20th May 2017. You can find out more about the campaign here.