With September World Alzheimer’s Month, health professionals from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are participating in the international campaign by raising awareness and challenging the stigma that is still often associated with dementia.
The theme for this year’s international campaign is “Remember Me” and, as part of this, health professionals from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are calling on health and social care professionals to reflect on the lived experience of people affected by dementia and identify actions they could apply in their everyday practice.
The drive to encourage more people to see how they could make a difference in the lives of people with dementia follows on from the Dementia Awareness and Make a Pledge Event held at the end of July at The Harbour, the Trust’s mental health hospital in Blackpool. At the event, veteran dementia campaigner Tommy Whitelaw spoke about the need for people who work with people dementia to pledge one thing that they could do to improve the lives of people with the condition.
Jo Blofeld, Patient and Carer Experience Lead in Adult Community Services at the Trust, said: “Dementia Awareness Week took place in May. On the back of that, we invited Tommy Whitelaw to the Trust in July to speak about the importance and value of listening to people’s lived experience of services to find ways to improve them. The response from across the Trust was phenomenal and hundreds of staff pledged different things that would really improve the way services are offered to people with dementia. To coincide with World Alzheimer’s Month in September, we’re working to increase pledges and see them threaded throughout the work that we do as a Trust. It’s only meaningful that we as a Trust pledge our collective commitment to make a difference in the way we deal with people with dementia.
“Celebrating World Alzheimer’s Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness of Dementia and continue working to reduce the stigma attached to it. Our goal is to continue to educate people about dementia and make sure people know you can live well with it, and how to do it.”
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of Dementia which is the term used to describe a set of symptoms that include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is progressive and there are lots of ways to continue to live well with it.
There are currently 44 million people worldwide living with Dementia, with this figure expected to rise to over 135 million before 2050. Dementia is not a natural part of the ageing process and isn’t just about losing your memory. The dementia helpline is in place for those with a personal experience or link to dementia who might need help and support and they can be contacted on 0300 2221122.