Being open about dementia

Janice Nunn from Enfield Dementia Action Alliance on what’s planned for this year’s Dementia Action Week

The ‘dementia friends’ programme is the biggest-ever to change perceptions of dementia
The ‘dementia friends’ programme is the biggest-ever to change perceptions of dementia

Enfield Dementia Action Alliance and Alzheimer’s Society are teaming up to encourage people in the borough with concerns about their memory to seek an assessment ahead of Dementia Action Week this month (starting 15th May).

The alliance is hosting events for people affected by dementia and to raise awareness among the general public about the importance of confronting symptoms when they appear, shining a light on the work done by Enfield’s ‘dementia friends’ and providing residents with information to help them plan for the future.

The dementia friends programme led by Alzheimer’s Society is the biggest-ever programme to change perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation acts, thinks and talks about the condition and, since launching in 2013, more than 3.5 million people across the UK have joined to create change in their communities.

From the taxi driver to the hairdresser, the bus company to the newsagent, everyone can identify things they can do to support those with dementia to continue living as independently as possible. That is why the dementia friends programme is crucial.

An Alzheimer’s Society survey showed three out of five people with dementia wish they had got a diagnosis sooner, and 23% in London lived with the condition for more than two years, after first noticing symptoms, before diagnosis.

Denial is a big reason why people put off seeking a memory assessment with 42% of Londoners with the disease admitting to choosing to ignore worrying signs. But being diagnosed with dementia at an early stage gives you a chance to adjust and unlock the door to things you need such as access to practical guidance, legal advice or financial support.

Memory loss is not just a normal part of ageing – as many assume. Nine in ten people with dementia said they benefitted from getting a diagnosis. There are almost 80,000 living with dementia in the capital and while it mainly affects people over 65, around one in 20 people with dementia are under 65.

Events taking place for this year’s Dementia Action Week in Enfield include an immersive arts experience at Park Avenue Disability Resource Centre on Tuesday, 16th May from 2-3pm; an information stall about dementia in Palace Gardens Shopping Centre on Thursday, 18th May from 10.30am-2pm; plus a dementia friends information awareness session from 10-11am followed by a talk on lasting power of attorney at Elsyng House Care Home on Friday, 19th May from 11.30am-12.15pm.

Find out more about events taking place in Enfield during Dementia Action Week:
Email [email protected]

To book a place on the dementia friends information awareness session:
Email [email protected]

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