This year, Dementia Awareness Week begins on May 15 to 21. It usually takes place on the third Monday of May and is organized by the Alzheimer’s Society. Did you know that someone develops dementia every three minutes in the U.K.? It’s true, and dementia not only affects old people (over the age of 65), but it can also affect people in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. Many people with dementia feel cut off from their community, lose friendships, and face the condition alone. Dementia Awareness Week is all about supporting people with dementia and making the U.K. a dementia-friendly place.
History of Dementia Awareness Week
The Alzheimer’s Society was founded in 1979 with the motto “United against dementia.” As the U.K.’s leading dementia charity, the Alzheimer’s Society supports people with dementia and funds research to find a cure. They ensure that nobody has to face dementia alone. The Alzheimer’s Society has been investing money in dementia research and attracting more researchers to it, with the ambition that research findings can result in improved care, treatment, and information by 2022.
Dementia is a term used to describe a set of symptoms that later can affect one’s memory, problem-solving, language, and personality or behavior, interfering with one’s daily life. Dementia is progressive; its symptoms are relatively mild but worsen gradually. Although dementia can affect people differently, each type of dementia has several common early symptoms. People can also have mixed dementia, a combination of more than one type. Several types of dementia include Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies (D.L.B.), and Frontotemporal Dementia (F.T.D.).
In Alzheimer’s Disease, the first symptoms are problems with memory, thinking, language, or perception. Problems with planning, organizing, decision-making, or problem-solving are symptoms associated with Vascular Dementia. People with Dementia with Lewy Bodies (D.L.B.) exhibit symptoms of having difficulty staying focused; experiencing delusions; and problems with movement and sleep; while the signs of Frontotemporal Dementia (F.T.D.) include common symptoms such as changes in personality and behavior and/or difficulties with language. It’s sometimes called Pick’s Disease and is one of the less common types of dementia.
Dementia Awareness Week timeline
Auguste Deter becomes the first person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist, publishes the case of Deter.
The most common dementia is named after Alois Alzheimer.
Alzheimer’s disease is recognized as the most common form of dementia.
Dementia Awareness Week FAQs
Does dementia run in families?
Most dementias are not inherited.
How does peanut butter detect Alzheimer's?
The peanut butter test measures subjects’ ability to smell peanut butter through each nostril.
Is dementia more common in males or females?
Dementia is more common in women than in men.
How to Observe Dementia Awareness Week
Join the cause
You may want to join the campaign with the Alzheimer's Society because the more people who join, the more they can influence decision-makers across the U.K. to provide support and care for people with dementia.
If you want to contribute to supporting people with dementia, be a volunteer with the Alzheimer's Society. They have volunteer opportunities, so check out their page for more information.
Join an event
The Alzheimer's Society holds various events, including running, trekking, cycling, and more. You may want to attend fundraising events to help fight dementia.
5 Facts About Dementia You Need To Know
Hundreds of thousands of people are affected
There are currently around 900,000 people affected by dementia in the U.K. alone and projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.
Some in-care homes have it
80% of people in care homes reportedly have dementia or severe memory problems.
Some people under 65 have it
In the U.K., there are more than 42,000 people under 65 with dementia.
Millions are affected worldwide
Around the world, there are an estimated 57.4 million people who are living with dementia.
There’s still no cure for it
Although there is a medicine available that can temporarily reduce the symptoms, there’s still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or any other type of dementia.
Why Dementia Awareness Week is Important
We are not supposed to let people with dementia feel isolated. Dementia Awareness Week is a way to raise awareness so that more people can partake in making the U.K. more dementia-friendly.
Dementia not only affects people older than 65; it also affects people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Dementia Awareness Week reminds us to find out more about dementia so we can prevent it.
Studies show that maintaining an active lifestyle can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Encourage those you know to stay active to prevent the risk of this disease.
Dementia Awareness Week dates