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World Alzheimer’s Day 2021

Posted by Mike Phipps on September 19, 2021

The logo of the Alzheimer's Society

Did you know that the 21st of September 2021 is World Alzheimer’s Day? 

World Alzheimer’s Day is part of World Alzheimer’s Month, which is an international campaign that encourages people from across the globe to raise awareness of dementia and the number of people living with the condition.

World Alzheimer’s Day also typically coincides with the World Alzheimer Report from Alzheimer’s Disease International, which in 2021 will focus on issues surrounding dementia diagnosis.

The theme for this year’s campaign is Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s and the aim is to shine a light on the signs of dementia and how important an early diagnosis is in order to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia and enable them to plan for the future.

Are Alzheimer’s And Dementia The Same Thing?

Often people use the terms ‘Alzheimer’s’ and ‘Dementia’ interchangeably, but are they really the same thing?

Dementia is actually an umbrella term that is used to describe degenerative brain disorders that cause a loss of brain function.

Alzheimer’s Disease is one of those disorders. It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for over half of all dementia diagnoses.

Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia and fronto-temporal dementia. Though most people with dementia are over the age of 65, it can also affect younger people, and this is known as early-onset dementia. In the UK, there are more than 42,000 people under the age of 65 living with a diagnosis of dementia.

Dementia affects over 50 million people worldwide and as of 2021, there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. There is currently no cure and despite ongoing research, there is much that is not yet understood about this condition.

What Are The Symptoms of Dementia And What Causes Dementia?

Symptoms of dementia can include…

  • memory loss,
  • difficulty understanding others,
  • difficulties with speech, or ‘finding the right words’,
  • difficulties with everyday tasks and activities,
  • changes in mood, or personality.

There are many factors linked to dementia. The greatest risk factor for dementia is age, although it is important to clarify that dementia is not a ‘normal’ part of ageing, as this is often a common misconception. There are also genes that can increase your risk of, or even directly cause dementia, but the latter is rare and account for less than 1% of cases worldwide.

Other factors which may increase the likelihood of developing dementia include:

  • smoking,
  • lack of exercise,
  • excessive alcohol,
  • air-pollution,
  • multiple, or severe head injury,
  • social isolation,
  • obesity,
  • high blood pressure,
  • diabetes,
  • depression,
  • hearing Impairment.

That is not to say that any one of these factors will definitely cause dementia, but these are all considered to be ‘risk factors.’ The fewer risk factors you have, the less likely you are to develop Alzheimer’s, or other forms of dementia. To find out more about how you can reduce your own risk of developing dementia, you can click here to read more about risk factors and risk reduction.

How Does World Alzheimer’s Day Help?

World Alzheimer’s Day helps to highlight specific issues surrounding dementia, such as the importance of early diagnosis, which is the main focus for this year’s campaign.

The 2020 campaign highlighted the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on people living with dementia.

Encouraging Action

World Alzheimer’s Day encourages people to take action, whether by attending in-person events, or webinars, or participating in fundraising activities. It also encourages conversation, both in real life and online, prompting people to share their thoughts, concerns and experiences. By sharing information and promoting conversation about dementia in our local communities, and across social media, it helps to reduce any stigma surrounding dementia.

Informing Change

The World Alzheimer Report provides valuable insight into current dementia care and the experiences of those affected. The report then helps inform those involved in care, treatment, research and policymaking, to make the necessary changes to improve the experience of those with dementia moving forward.

Providing Resources

Through World Alzheimer’s Month and World Alzheimer’s Day, the ADI provides resources, such as the campaign toolkit and campaign materials containing ideas and suggestions for organisations, along with social media banners, which are all available in a range of languages in order to raise awareness on an international level.

What Can We Do To Help Those Living With Dementia?

Here are some ways we can all help those living with dementia.

Make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society to help the charity support people currently living with the condition and fund life-changing research into dementia.

Get involved in events and fundraising. From marathons to coffee mornings and bake-offs to pub quizzes, there’s something for everyone!

Form a Dementia-friendly Community. This could be a village, town, or city where people living with dementia feel welcome and are understood and well supported.

Isolation is a huge issue for people living with dementia and we can all do our bit to change that. You could join an existing group in your area, or begin one yourself. It can start with something as simple as making a local event, or club you’re involved with, dementia-friendly.

Make your space, or organisation dementia-friendly. The Alzheimer’s Society can provide specific advice for your organisation, business, or sector, detailing changes you can make and things you can put in place to make it more welcoming and accessible to those living with Alzheimers.

Dementia Aids to Make Life Easier

The Ability Superstore’s collection of mobility aids and dementia care items have all been specially designed to improve the quality of life for people living with Alzheimer’s.

Picture shows two dementia friendly clocks, 1 dementia friendly watch and two high contrast grab rails

Simple adaptations, such as ensuring that spaces have clear, easy-to-understand signs, easy-to-read clocks and watches, and high-contrast mobility aids, such as grab bars, can all make life easier for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. This type of mobility equipment can be found in many care environments.

Various dementia friendly objects that are for sale on the Ability Superstore website

Our mobility aids range also includes items designed to aid memory and recall and make life feel more familiar and less disorienting for those living with dementia. Mobility aids, such as memorabilia packs and nostalgia jigsaws can give a sense of familiarity in what may at times feel like a strange and overwhelming world. Sensory mobility aids can also help calm individuals who are prone to restlessness, or fidgeting.  

Various dementia friendly objects that are for sale on the Ability Superstore website

We stock mobility aids for dementia, such as talking buttons, and the high-contrast grab rails mentioned earlier, as well as orientation aids to help people feel at home. 

The – Alzheimer's Society – logo, as well as the – Alzheimer's Disease International – logo

To discover more about Alzheimer’s, please visit the Alzheimer’s Society, or to learn more about World Alzheimer’s Day visit Alzheimer’s Disease International.

For specific help and advice about any of our dementia care products, you can also email heretohelp@abilitysuperstore.com or call free on 0800 255 0498 or fill in our Contact Form.

Ability Superstore features over 12,000 mobility aids, disability aids and mobility equipment such as walking aids, mobility scooters, outdoor aids, walking frames, bathroom aids and much more. We are proud to feature one of the largest ranges of mobility aids in the UK, helping people with limited mobility live everyday life more easily. With a resident OT (occupational therapist) too, Ability Superstore really is a one stop shop for all your mobility aid requirements.