Understanding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can affect anybody, including younger people. In the UK, there are around 850,000 people with dementia. Out of those, over 42,000 people aged under 65 live with dementia.
Elderly woman sitting outside

Forgetting someone’s name or where you left something can happen from time to time, particularly when you’re tired or stressed. But if you’re aged 65 or over and memory loss is starting to impact your life, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP about dementia. As part of this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month and World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September), we’re raising awareness about the myths and stigma of dementia.

Did you know?

  • Dementia is a set of symptoms that affect your brain’s cognitive function, such as thinking and memory.
  • It is usually caused by a disease, such as Alzheimer’s, which is the most common one.
  • Around 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK.
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can affect anybody, including younger people. Over 42,000 people with dementia are aged under 65.
  • Cultural perceptions of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can make it harder for people to get the support they need. Some cultures see a dementia diagnosis as a source of shame.
  • When you’re ready to talk with your loved ones about your diagnosis, there are some helpful tips to read online, such as these from Alzheimer’s Society.
  • Dementia doesn’t prevent you from living a full life. You can read stories from Young Dementia UK about how people have been able to do this.

What are we doing locally to support people with dementia?

Healthwatch Slough has been working with care home providers to ensure people have been getting the support they need. During the Covid-19 lockdown, it was not possible for people to visit their loved ones in care homes. This has now changed, although each care home provider will have different guidelines to ensure they protect residents. You can read more on Healthwatch England’s website about the new guidance. During the pandemic we produced an Enter and View report on Oxford House Nursing home. 

Read report

Where can I get more information?

Your GP can help you if you are worried that you or someone you know may be showing signs of dementia. For general information, visit the websites below:

What is dementia?
Let’s talk about dementia

Do health and social care services know what you really think?

Share your ideas and experiences and help services hear what works, what doesn’t, and what you want from care in the future. 

Share your views