Dementia Action Week

Date published: 16 May 2022

Dementia Action Week is an annual awareness raising campaign, launched by the Alzheimer’s society, which encourages people to ‘act on dementia’. This year’s campaign runs from 16-22 May and will focus on the theme of diagnosis.

Research undertaken by the Alzheimer’s society has revealed that, as well as the misconception around memory loss just being part of getting old, being in denial, and referral times to specialists, are big barriers for those experiencing symptoms to seek a diagnosis.

To promote awareness within our Trust, Cheryl Smithers, Dementia CNS, will be hosting special tea parties on three of our wards during the week.

This Dementia Action Week, those who might be living with, or close to someone who might be living with, undiagnosed dementia are encouraged to:

  • Be able to understand and recognise potential dementia symptoms
  • Access guidance and support
  • Feel empowered to take the next step
  • Improve the diagnosis process for both them and healthcare professionals
  • Dementia describes a group of symptoms that include problems with memory, thinking or language, and changes in mood, emotions, perception and behaviour.

Dementia is a progressive disease, which means symptoms may be relatively mild at first, but they get worse over time. There are many types of dementia but Alzheimer’s disease is the most common. The next most common is vascular dementia.

What causes dementia?

Dementia is not a natural part of aging. It is caused when a disease damages nerve cells in the brain.

Nerve cells carry messages between different parts of the brain, and to other parts of the body. As more nerve cells are damaged, the brain becomes less able to work properly.

Dementia can be caused by many different diseases. These diseases affect the brain in different ways, resulting in different types of dementia.

Types of dementia

Around 19 out of 20 people with dementia have one of four main types. Dementia affects everyone differently, however each type has some common early symptoms.

A person may also have mixed dementia where they have symptoms of more than one type.