New campaign to drive awareness of dementia

  • Sir Michael Parkinson, Fiona Phillips and Gordon Banks to support national 'A Day to Remember' campaign, calling for the public not to delay talking about dementia.

    A Day to Remember

    A new campaign which aims to increase early diagnosis rates for dementia across England by tackling the public's fears of talking about the condition, has been launched today by the Department of Health with support from Alzheimer's Society.

    The 'A Day to Remember' campaign is part of the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia. It will encourage people to speak with a friend or family member when they spot the signs and symptoms of dementia, and encourage them to visit their GP.

    Research shows: 

    • Half of people say they would find it hard to talk about dementia to a friend or family member they thought might have it;
    • A third say that personal concerns (such as fear of upsetting someone or feeling awkward or anxious) would discourage them from talking about dementia or memory loss with a friend or relative; and
    • That nearly two-thirds of people would not be confident telling the difference between the signs of dementia and the normal signs of ageing.

    The three-month national campaign, launched on World Alzheimer's Day, will raise awareness of the condition, what initial signs and symptoms look like and how to seek help. Advice on how to have difficult conversations about the condition will also be available.

    Celebrities lend their support

    Sir Michael Parkinson, Fiona Phillips and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks have lent their support to the campaign, by sharing their personal experiences of dementia in a short film, at www.nhs.uk/dementia.

    Welcoming the launch, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said:

    Awareness is just the first step towards tackling the stigma around this condition and we need to work together if we're going to help those living with dementia have a better quality of life.

    This campaign delivers on commitments made by the Prime Minister to raise awareness of a condition predicted to affect a third of us in the future.

    Our goal is to make this country a world leader in tackling the challenge of dementia. That requires us all to play our part, including being brave enough to start conversations about dementia to get our loved ones the early help we know makes a difference.

    Chief Executive at Alzheimer's Society, Jeremy Hughes said:

    Talking to a loved one about dementia will probably be one of the most difficult conversations you ever have, but it will be worth it. Early diagnosis is crucial in helping people with dementia to access the support and help they need to live well with the condition.

    Alzheimer's Society Ambassador, Fiona Phillips, whose parents both had dementia, is supporting the campaign. She said:

    If you think a loved one is showing the signs of dementia, it's so important to take that first step and talk to them about it. There are things you can do to help; treatments can work well for people, but early diagnosis also means you can plan and get help, instead of doing everything in a rush.

    Ann Johnson, who is living with dementia and is an Ambassador for Alzheimer's Society said:

    I have found that the general public are more aware about dementia since the Department of Health launched its campaign to raise awareness of the condition. Hopefully there is less stigma surrounding the condition as well. The more people who understand the concept of what living with dementia is like, the better it will be for people like me. I want people to love me for who I am and be with me as I go through the journey of living with dementia.

    Source: Alzheimer's Society

     

     

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