May 15th-21st marks the return of Dementia Awareness Week for 2016, and seven days of events, fundraising and promotion of dementia awareness around the UK. In the run-up to the occasion we thought we’d share a few facts about this year’s Dementia Awareness Week, and a little bit of information about how you can get involved in your care home.
Launched by the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Awareness Week aims to increase much-needed understanding about dementia. It also encourages people to raise funds for the charity and to act as ambassadors for dementia, taking information about the condition into their local community to help others to understand its impact and consider how they can be a little more dementia friendly.
Every year the event has theme, with the aim of highlighting a particular aspect of dementia and life with dementia. Last year’s theme for Dementia Awareness Week was ‘Try Something New’. Those taking part were encouraged to try new things throughout the week such as new sports, hosting a fundraising event of their own for the first time, or something a little more extreme like parachuting!
This year the theme is ‘Remember the Person’, to remind everyone to look past the symptoms of dementia to remember that those living with dementia are individuals too. The Alzheimer’s Society is asking everyone to take the time to separate the people that are living with dementia from their condition and symptoms, and to instead look at their wider lives.
Care homes are in a unique position to be able to share knowledge and experience of life with dementia with the wider community in a positive way. Your staff and colleagues are likely to deal with the impact of dementia symptoms every day and so will be well placed to help raise awareness.
Your staff and residents may also be able to share information about living with dementia. This might include the activities your residents continue to enjoy or tips and ideas to help local shops, attractions and services to become more dementia friendly.
If you’d like to get involved in Dementia Awareness Week 2016, you can do so on many levels. From advertising information about the week and sharing informative materials about dementia, through to holding events and fundraisers, it’s totally up to you what type of role you take on.
You can find lots of information including promotional materials and downloadable leaflets about dementia on the Alzheimer’s Society website and you can download posters here. We also have a lot of information about dementia and living with dementia on the Care Shop blog; take a look at our latest infographic on how arts and crafts are beneficial to those living with dementia here.
If you’d like to hold a community event or fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society or another dementia-focused charity of your choice on Dementia Awareness Week, you may want to ask staff and residents for ideas. Activities could range from inviting relatives, friends and members of the wider community in to talk about dementia and perhaps enjoy some coffee and cake on a special open day.