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How you can help during Dementia Action week?
This Dementia Action Week, 20 – 26 May, Alzheimer’s Society is calling for people to focus on inclusion, and take action so people living with dementia can stay connected to the things they love for longer.
Over a third of people living with dementia have recently felt lonely and over a third have lost touch with their friends following a diagnosis (Alzheimer’s Society’s Turning up the Volume report). Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, this means hundreds and thousands of people living with dementia are feeling cut off.
Public anxiety and a sense of social awkwardness contribute to the isolation that people living with dementia experience – over half of the general public report that they don’t feel confident visiting someone with dementia in a care home or inviting them to a meal at their home.
Living with dementia doesn’t need to mean an isolated life – after all, people with dementia are still people. This Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society is urging everyone to unite with them and take action – so people living with dementia can stay connected to the things they love for longer.
It’s as simple as continuing to stay in touch, talk to and visit friends, family and neighbours with dementia. Or learning more about dementia and volunteering with Alzheimer’s Society to help someone in your local area. Our small acts of kindness can make a huge impact in helping people with dementia stay connected.
Last year, over 900 events took place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our film reached 1.8 million views, thousands of people pledged to take action for people affected by dementia online and we made over 21,000 Dementia Friends.
People don’t realise that many people with dementia may find it difficult to recognise faces of friends and family members, but they still hold an ‘emotional memory’ which means they continue to feel happy long after a visit or experience that they may have forgotten. Spending time with loved ones is important because it can stimulate feelings of familiarity, happiness, comfort and security. Staying connected and taking part in activities helps a person with dementia feel less isolated.
Look out for campaign materials for the week promoting the best ways to stay in touch, have a conversation and make a difference to people with dementia in your community.