World Alzheimer’s Day takes place every year on 21 September. It serves as a reminder of the millions affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia around the world.
The purpose of World Alzheimer’s Day is to raise awareness and challenge the stigma surrounding these conditions, and to remember those living with dementia as well as the caregivers, families, and communities that support them.
How many people are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behaviour.
Globally, it is thought that around 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. In the UK alone, dementia affects roughly 850,000 people, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common form.
While these statistics are unsettling, they don’t highlight the emotional and psychological toll that Alzheimer’s disease has on families and caregivers.
Care responsibilities often fall on close family members, and it can be overwhelming to handle the challenges that Alzheimer’s disease presents.
The stigma and misunderstanding
Society still has many misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, mistaking them for normal signs of ageing or dismissing their impact as insignificant.
This can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment, which only worsens the symptoms and the stress endured by families.
The importance of World Alzheimer’s Day
World Alzheimer’s Day gives us an opportunity to refocus our efforts and energy on the following aspects:
- Awareness: Public awareness campaigns are essential in educating people about the disease, its symptoms, and its impact. Understanding the early warning signs can lead to quicker diagnoses, allowing for more effective management of symptoms.
- Support: The day aims to highlight the support networks available for those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, from specialist healthcare services to community organisations and support groups.
- Research: World Alzheimer’s Day serves as a platform to discuss the latest breakthroughs in research, treatments, and potential cures. Funding for research is an ongoing need, and this day helps to amplify the call for more resources.
- Solidarity: This day fosters a sense of community among those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Through activities and events, we can stand in solidarity, share our stories, and give voice to those who often go unheard.
How to get involved
There are several different ways in which you can help the cause, including:
- Educating yourself and others: Share articles, research, and stories related to Alzheimer’s disease to help educate those around you.
- Donate: Contributions to Alzheimer’s disease research can make a significant impact.
- Participate: Join local events or virtual webinars that focus on Alzheimer’s disease awareness.
- Offer support: If you know someone who is affected by Alzheimer’s disease, offer your support, be it emotional or practical.
World Alzheimer’s Day offers an important occasion to reflect, raise awareness, and unite in the face of a disease that affects millions worldwide. Here at Almond Care, we recognise this and want to help raise awareness for World Alzheimer’s Day.