During this year’s Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society highlighted the widespread confusion between the symptoms of dementia and the normal signs of ageing in Birmingham.
This causes many people to avoid mentioning the ‘d word’ – with one in three who noticed symptoms in themselves or a loved one waiting more than a month before voicing their concerns.
Our campaign – It’s not called getting old, it’s called getting ill’ – encourages those worried about their memory, or the memory of someone close to them, to seek support in getting a diagnosis, using a ‘symptoms checklist’, which is available on our website at alzheimers.org.uk
While a dementia diagnosis can be daunting, we believe it’s better to know. And, according to our research, so do 91% of people living with dementia. A timely diagnosis unlocks the door to treatments, support and advice. Since we launched the campaign, the checklist has already been used more than 58,000 times.
I would also like to thank everyone in Birmingham who supported our Forget Me Not Appeal, which ran throughout May. We asked them to show people living with dementia that they are not forgotten by wearing a Forget Me Not badge or fundraising to help provide life-changing support. So far, our Forget Me Not Appeal has raised an incredible £1.2million – and the funds are still rolling in. I would encourage anyone who has concerns for themselves or that of a loved one, to visit Alzheimer’s Society’s website for help and advice.
Janice Le Tellier
Alzheimer’s Society Area Manager Birmingham