Throughout the month of September we’re commemorating World Alzheimer’s Month, a global campaign by Alzheimer’s Disease International to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, and challenge the stigmas that surround it. Also including World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21st, this month will be the fourth anniversary of World Alzheimer’s Month, and the theme for this year’s event is ‘Remember Me’ to encourage anyone that has been touched by Alzheimer’s to recall fond memories of people they know who have lost the battle with the disease, or are still bravely fighting.
At Care Shop we’d also like to put the spotlight on those who care for those that are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, whether they are workers in a care home, or friends or family members who have dedicated their lives to caring for their loved one. In our fantastic infographic below we’re celebrating the unique traits of carers, those wonderful people who go above and beyond to make the lives of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients as rich and enjoyable as they can, and also sharing ways in which we can all show our gratitude to carers for all of the wonderful, yet incredibly difficult work that they do.
There is often much confusion around the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is in fact the most common cause of dementia, the name given to a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and trouble with language, thinking, and problem-solving. These occur when the brain has been damaged by diseases like Alzheimer’s, but there are several other possible causes too. More than 520,000 people in the UK are living with Alzheimer’s, and the number of people worldwide with a form of dementia is set to rise to over 135 million by 2050. That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia now, because as the number of people living with dementia rises, so will the number of carers required to keep their quality of life and health as high as possible.
Nobody likes to think that one of their loved ones has developed Alzheimer’s, but identifying the early signs of the disease is crucial. It can be difficult as the early signs are mild and vary from person to person, but they soon become disruptive to the person’s daily life. Usually the first tell-tale signs of Alzheimer’s are lapses in memory, particularly with remembering things that have happened recently, or taking in new information. The reason for this type of memory loss is that in the early stages, Alzheimer’s disease typically damages the part of the brain called the ‘hippocampus’, which is where short-term memories are formed.
If you notice that one of your loved ones is beginning to lose things around the house more often; is often struggling to find the right word in a conversation; forgetting names, details of recent conversations or events, appointments or anniversaries; or even finding themselves getting lost in places or on journeys that are familiar to them, you should be concerned that they may be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. You can find out more about Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms, as well as how to help someone who you think may have Alzheimer’s, on the Alzheimer’s Society website.
To make it easy to share your memories of those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, or show your appreciation for Alzheimer’s and dementia carers, tag all of your posts on social media with the hashtag #RememberMe. Care Shop will be following the hashtag closely not only on World Alzheimer’s Day but throughout the whole of World Alzheimer’s Month 2015, and we’re looking forward to hearing your memories.