Alzheimer’s is a condition that currently affects around 47 million people worldwide, with a person being diagnosed every 68 seconds.
The fourth World Alzheimer’s Month, which ran throughout September, aimed to raise awareness of the disease: the theme was to “go purple with a purpose”, and initiatives included providing information to help spot early signs of dementia in loved ones, and encouraging participation in fundraising events and outreach to friends or relatives who may be affected.
This year’s theme was ‘Remember Me’, and the movement has been encouraging people to wear purple to show their support for the cause and to arrange events in their local area, such as ‘Memory Walks’, to raise money for further research.
In response, streams of purple people filled the streets in over 15 locations across the UK, as well as hundreds of other global centres. Workplaces nationwide encouraged their staff to come in suitably attired.
The Alzheimer’s Society was pleased with the raised awareness as a success of the month’s initiatives, as one of their core missions is to make more people active in supporting loved ones with dementia. Research has shown that when those with Alzheimer’s or dementia are supported and care for in their own home, this can actually delay the progression of symptoms: “People with dementia who wish to remain in their own homes should be supported to do so for as long as possible. Good quality care at home can reduce admissions to acute hospital care and early entry into care homes… In some cases, a person's dementia progresses quite quickly once the person moves [out of their own home].”
Fiona Lowry, our CEO, commented: “World Alzheimer’s Month is an important international event which raises much-needed awareness of an ever-more common condition, in our aging society. We welcome the initiatives which encourage support at home for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, as we have seen from evidential findings that care in the home provides many benefits for loved ones with these conditions.”