World Alzheimer's Month 2019
Posted on - 1st September 2019
The beginning of September marks the start of World Alzheimer’s Month. This international campaign was first launched in 2012 with the aim of raising awareness about dementia while challenging the stigma that surrounds it.
While awareness of dementia is now at an all time high, there’s still much to do. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, 2 out of 3 people believe there is little or no understanding of dementia in their countries. It is vital that we all play a part in changing that.
How Damaging Is Stigma Around Alzheimers?
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding Alzheimer’s, which can be damaging to people living with the condition and the people who care for them. Often, these misunderstandings can lead to people not seeking medical treatment (and consequently not receiving a timely diagnosis), and becoming isolated due to a lack of support.
For care homes and nursing homes, a lack of awareness in how the disease affects personality, mobility and coginitive processing can lead to them not being prepared to deal with certain behaviours or situations.
On a broader level, this stigma and lack of awareness can lead to a lack of funding for research. Which, considering the number of people with dementia in the UK is set to rise to over 1 million by 2025 could spell disaster for a large part of the population in this country alone.
Who Experiences Stigma?
Stigma is experienced by people with dementia and their families everyday. For example, friends and family who do not understand the condition may start to treat an individual differently, or withdraw entirely. This can leave people living with dementia feeling isolated and abandoned, which is hugely damaging.
For caregivers of individuals living with dementia, it may be that people around them do not understand how they can support them, which also leads to them feeling alone with no one to reach out to.
With initiatives such as World Alzheimer's Month and Dementia Action Week, we are slowly overcoming the misconceptions and myths surrounding the condition. This comes about through engaging in discussions about the disease and the need for better treatment and better care. Here at Hill & Hill Design, we are passionate about helping care homes to transform their indoor spaces into dementia and Alzheimer’s friendly environments through the use of care home furniture, dementia friendly furniture and reminiscence furniture. Check out our article for 4 dementia friendly tweaks you can make to the interior design of your care home to help support individuals living with the disease.
How To Get Involved
Raising awareness and reducing the stigma around Alzheimer’s is important work - and something we can all get behind. This World Alzheimer’s Month, there’s a number of ways you can get involved. You can join the conversation on social media by using #WorldAlzMonth, take part in a Memory Walk for the Azheimer’s Society, or even volunteer in the community to raise awareness of the disease.