World Alzheimer's Month has just begun.
With over 850,000 people with this condition in the UK alone, Alzheimer's is something that's likely to touch many of us during our lifetimes.
Here, we'll tell you why World Alzheimer's Month is so important, and provide examples of national and international initiatives you, or your loved one, can participate in.
What is World Alzheimer's Month?
World Alzheimer's Month has taken place in September each year since its inception in 2012. Events will be held throughout the month, but are likely to culminate on 21 September - World Alzheimer's Day.
The Alzheimer's association of each participating country is responsible for providing guidance on arranging events, and for hosting the events themselves.
The initiative is designed to:
- Raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease - its causes, symptoms, and associated care techniques
- Challenge the stigma surrounding the condition
- Generate funds for further research into potential treatments
Two-thirds of the global population believe there is little to no understanding of Alzheimer's in their country.
By raising awareness and challenging stigma, it's hoped that people will be better equipped to spot the early warning signs and seek the help they need.
Each year, a theme is chosen to highlight a different aspect of the condition. This year's theme is 'Remember Me', and participants are being encouraged to share cherished memories with their loved ones.
What events are being held to mark World Alzheimer's Month 2017?
A host of events are taking place, both nationally and internationally, to mark World Alzheimer's Month 2017. Let's have a look at some of the most inspiring:
- Independent cinemas across Wales are hosting dementia-friendly screenings of classic films to help trigger memories in people with the condition.
- Worcester's Fernhill House Care Home has arranged a visit from a BBC sports presenter that's open to the local community. It has also organised a day trip to Burnham-on-Sea for residents.
- Warwickshire County Council is using this month to increase the number of local 'Dementia Friends'. 14,000 people from across the county have already registered, but this is still short of their target of 30,000.
- Primary school children in Albany, New Zealand, are being taught how to effectively communicate with people who have Alzheimer's by Massey University's Speech Language Therapy students.
- In Whanganui – also in New Zealand - local residents have arranged a 'Memory Walk', which will see hundreds of people coming together to raise awareness.
If all this has encouraged you to get involved and show your support, go to your country's Alzheimer's association website to find out more about events in your area.
Learn more about how to help older people with Alzheimer's maintain the best possible quality of life, and The Good Care Group's specialist approach to dementia care, by calling on our friendly team.