September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma. Each year, Alzheimer associations from around the world unite to organise advocacy and information provision events, as well as Memory Walks and fundraising days. This year, the seventh World Alzheimer’s Month, the theme is Let’s talk about dementia: End the stigma.
The impact of this campaign is growing, but the stigmatisation and misinformation that surrounds dementia remains a global issue. We all need to understand the importance of recognising dementia as a disease and challenging the stigma that surrounds the condition. This ‘back to basics’ approach concentrates on awareness-raising, with a simple, easy to understand and impactful message, which is broad and adaptable to every country.
- We can all raise awareness by learning about dementia, learning to spot the signs, and taking simple steps to lower our risk of developing the condition
- People living with dementia and their care partners have an equal right to respect and inclusion, and to diagnosis, quality care and treatment
- Governments can reduce the human and economic impact of dementia by developing responses to the World Health Organisation Global action plan on the public health response to dementia by 2025.
Facts about dementia in New Zealand:
- Almost 70,000 Kiwis are living with dementia today.
- More than 170,000 Kiwis will be living with dementia by 2050
- Dementia impacts more women than men – around 30% higher
- The total cost of dementia to NZ is now around $1.7b and will reach around $5b by 2050