Getting people to overcome fears of talking about dementia is a crucial part of a Department of Health campaign launched today with help from the Alzheimer’s Society to increase the rates of early diagnosis for dementia in England.
The campaign, called ‘A Day to Remember’, is one aspect of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Challenge on Dementia. Its goal is to get people to initiate the ‘difficult conversation’ when they see symptoms of dementia in their family members and friends, and to urge them to see their doctor.
Launched on World Alzheimer’s Day, the national campaign is to increase public understanding of the disease by telling them about the first symptoms and how to secure medical aid. The three-month campaign will also give the public ideas about how to broach the subject with people whose condition concerns them.
Among the first symptoms of dementia, which can be the result of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease, are short-term memory loss that interferes with one’s everyday routine, depression or anxiety that comes without an apparent cause, and difficulty in reasoning or thinking, for example following TV programmes or conversations.
“Dementia is a devastating disease that puts enormous strain on people and their families,” said Prime Minister David Cameron.
He added: “Shockingly, nearly 400,000 people are unaware that they have the condition and so we want to make sure more people know what dementia is and how to spot those tell-tale signs.”