During this year’s Dementia Action Week (20 – 26 May 2019), people and organisations across the UK will be encouraging everyone to start a conversation with someone who has dementia.
It’s not unusual to worry about saying the wrong thing to someone who has dementia, be that a member of family, someone you care for or maybe a neighbour, but taking the time out to talk with someone who has dementia can make a huge difference to that person.
Not a specific disease, dementia is the term used to describe a group of symptoms associated with decline in memory or other thinking skills that is severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia in the UK and with vascular dementia accounts for the majority of cases.
It can be hard to find the right words to say to someone who has dementia, and it can feel easier to say nothing at all. However, staying connected is really important, for all of us, and by spending time with someone with dementia, and by talking with them, you will help them to feel included and part of the community.
The Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups are working hard across the county to raise awareness of dementia, and particularly to encourage people to see their GP if they think they, or someone they care for, might have dementia.
During Dementia Action Week, there are a significant number of events being held across Lincolnshire, to support the aim of asking people to start a conversation. See event listings
In addition, there are some great resources available online, including via the Alzheimer’s UK website, that provide practical advice about how to start a conversation with someone who has dementia, and how much of a difference this conversation could make: www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/dementia-action-week
Above all, if you are concerned that you or a loved one, or someone you care for, has dementia and hasn’t been diagnosed, it’s important to talk with your/their GP. Alternatively, call the Alzheimer’s Society’s National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 1122.