Dementia Action Week takes place from Monday 20 May to Sunday 26 May.
There are 850,000 people in the UK who are affected by dementia, and it does not just affect the elderly, 40,000 people in the UK under the age of 65 suffer from early onset dementia.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s research shows that many people are worried about ‘saying the wrong thing’ to people living with dementia. And despite almost all of us knowing someone affected, two-thirds of people living with dementia report feeling isolated and lonely.
Dementia Action Week encourages everyone to take action by starting a conversation with someone living with dementia they know; whether it’s calling a relative with dementia or visiting a neighbour, it’s time to start talking.
The Alzheimer’s Society has teamed up with people affected by dementia to give you the best tips for getting a conversation started:
‘Talk to me, smile, be a little patient and give me time to reply.’
‘A simple ‘hello’, ask about the weather, anything that you feel comfortable with.’
‘Just be yourself and yes, we will make mistakes but it’s ok to laugh along with us.’
‘I love it when people ask me questions. It gives me an opportunity to show that people with dementia exist, that we can still contribute to things going on around us and that life goes on. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like me again’
‘Just don’t ask if I remember.’
‘Don’t be afraid. All it takes is a conversation to see we’re still us.’
The Alzheimer’s Society website has lots of useful information, advice and tips around raising awareness of dementia and the support available. You can also find a list of events going on in your local area too on the website.