World Alzheimer’s Month – raising awareness and challenging stigma

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma.
two elderly men playing chess

 Each year, Alzheimer and dementia associations, alongside all those involved in the treatment, care and support of people with dementia, from around the world unite to organise advocacy and information provision events, as well as Memory Walks and fundraising days.  

The impact of this campaign is growing but the stigmatisation and misinformation that surrounds dementia remains a global issue. September 2021 will mark the tenth World Alzheimer’s Month campaign.  

The month of activities shows a truly global, regional, national and local level response to promote dementia awareness and what we can do to help support those living with the disease. 

Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s - The focus for this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month campaign is diagnosis, stimulated by recent developments, and potential breakthroughs, in both dementia treatment and diagnostics.  

The World Alzheimer Report 2021 is also focused on diagnosis and will launch during World Alzheimer’s Month. The report looks at the role of government, healthcare professionals, and civil society in diagnosis, highlighting gaps, and shining a light on the experiences of people who are living with dementia and their families. 

In conjunction with this, the campaign aims to encourage people to recognise the potential warning signs of dementia and to understand the importance of a timely dementia diagnosis, motivating concerned individuals to seek out information, advice and support - ultimately with the aim of challenging the stigma that surrounds its diagnosis.  

This builds on the previous World Alzheimer’s Month theme of ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia,’ aimed at raising global awareness around dementia and challenging the stigma that continues to persist globally.  

The 2021 campaign theme Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s is all about the power of knowledge. Once you know more about dementia, once you are armed with information, advice and support, you are better able to prepare and to adapt. Knowledge is power! 

What is dementia?  

Dementia is a collective name for progressive degenerative brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia are the most common types of dementia and are responsible for up to 90% of cases of dementia.  

Symptoms may include:  

• loss of memory  

• difficulty in finding the right words or understanding what people are saying 

• difficulty in performing previously routine tasks 

• personality and mood changes  

Dementia knows no social, economic or geographical boundaries. Although each person will experience dementia in their own way, eventually those affected are unable to care for themselves and need help with all aspects of daily life.  

There is currently no cure for dementia, with some limited treatments, focussing attention on the importance of care, information, advice and support.  

Every 3 seconds, someone in the world develops dementia.  

The number of people living with dementia around the world is over 50 million, which is expected to triple to 152 million by 2050. 

Dementia is now widely recognised as one of the most significant health crises of the 21st century.  

This September is time for action, when the global dementia family unites to call for and demand change. Join the campaign! Visit www.alzint.org/wam to see how you can get involved. 

If you need help accessing services or support for someone with dementia, please contact us at 0300 0120184 or send us an email and we can help you find the right service for your needs.  

For local support, events and guidance you can also check out Alzheimers Dementia Support

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