Published: 30 September 2020
Last week marked World Alzheimer’s Day. Each year on 21st September, the global community recognises the impact of the disease and the work that’s been done to understand and treat it since it’s discovery in 1906.
The Health and Wellbeing team are talking about Alzheimer’s, what it means, the symptoms and how you can get support.
“There’s still a lot of confusion about Alzheimer’s among the public. For example, did you know that it’s not the same thing as Dementia?
Dementia is the general term for memory loss, confusion, and issues around language and perception.
Alzheimer’s on the other hand causes dementia and is the most common brain disease in the world.
Another misunderstanding about Alzheimer’s is that it’s a normal part of ageing. But this isn’t true. Plenty of people grow old without developing the disease.
These misconceptions and the stigma they create need to be looked at when we talk about creating awareness and combating the disease.
- Around one in 10 people in the UK over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s.
- Although it’s often thought of as something that only affects older people, early signs can show in your 30’s.
- It’s not currently known what causes the disease and there isn’t any cure yet.
- But experts think that lifestyle changes like lowering your blood pressure, exercising more and not smoking can reduce your risk of getting it.
Having Alzheimer’s can be a scary, isolating and frustrating experience. It’s also a disease which has a major impact on the people around you.
If you’re a family member or carer for someone with Alzheimer’s, there is support available. Visit some of the charities listed below.
Ten signs of Alzheimer’s disease
1. Memory loss that gets in the way of daily life
2. Difficulty in planning or trying to solve problems
3. Unable to complete tasks you used to do
4. Confusion with time and place
5. Trouble understanding images and distance
6. New problems with words and speaking
7. Losing things and being unable to retrace your steps
8. Poor judgement
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality
If you notice any of the signs above in yourself or another person it’s important you take action straight away to find out what’s going on.
Booking an appointment with your local GP could mean finding Alzheimer’s quickly.
Early detection increases the treatments you can try, can help to relieve symptoms and increase your independence for longer.
- Alzheimer’s Society: If you’re worried about yourself, a friend or family member, you can call their support line on 0333 150 3456.
- Samaritans: Call 116 123 or email email@example.com. They’re open 24 hours a day all year.
- Age UK: Call 0800 169 2081.
- Dementia UK: Call 0800 888 6678 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mind: Call 0300 123 3393. You can also email them at email@example.com or text on 86463.
- Dementia Talking Point: An online community for people with dementia, their families, friends and carers. It’s a safe place to ask questions, share your experiences and get help.”
If you have questions about the disease you can always book a one-to-one appointment to speak with the Health and Wellbeing team.