World Alzheimer’s Month
World Alzheimer’s Day (21st September 2015)
September is World Alzheimer’s Month!
September 2015 will mark the fourth global World Alzheimer’s Month™, an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge stigma.
The theme for World Alzheimer’s Month 2015 is Remember Me. We’re helping to encourage people all around the world to learn to spot the signs of dementia, but also not to forget about loved ones who are living with dementia, or those who may have passed away.
The impact of September’s campaign is growing, but the stigmatisation and misinformation that surrounds dementia remains a global problem.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease, named after the doctor who first described it, Alois Alzheimer, is a physical disease that affects the brain. There are more than 520,000 people in the UK with Alzheimer’s disease. During the course of the disease, proteins build up in the brain to form structures called ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’. This leads to the loss of connections between nerve cells, and eventually to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue.
People with Alzheimer’s also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain. These chemical messengers help to transmit signals around the brain. When there is a shortage of them, the signals are not transmitted as effectively.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are generally mild to start with, but they get worse over time and start to interfere with daily life.
There are some common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, but it is important to remember that everyone is unique. Two people with Alzheimer’s are unlikely to experience the condition in exactly the same way.
For most people with Alzheimer’s, the earliest symptoms are memory lapses. In particular, they may have difficulty recalling recent events and learning new information. These symptoms occur because the early damage in Alzheimer’s is usually to a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which has a central role in day-to-day memory. Memory for life events that happened a long time ago is often unaffected in the early stages of the disease.
Memory loss due to Alzheimer’s disease increasingly interferes with daily life as the condition progresses. The person may:
- Lose items (e.g. keys, glasses) around the house
- Struggle to find the right word in a conversation or forget someone’s name
- Forget about recent conversations or events
- Get lost in a familiar place or on a familiar journey
- Forget appointments or anniversaries.
Dementia is not a natural, inevitable part of ageing. Dementia is a disease. Furthermore, if a close family member develops dementia, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will too.
There are many ways you can significantly reduce your risk of developing dementia:
Adopt a healthy lifestyle…
- Eat a healthy diet
A low-fat, high-fibre diet including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and wholegrains.
- Staying Active
Exercise regularly. If you are unable to exercise other activities like gardening and housework can help keep you healthy.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol
Stick to the recommended daily limits for alcohol consumption (3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women).
- Stop smoking
If you smoke, stopping smoking reduce your risk of dementia. Smoking can cause your arteries to narrow increasing you blood pressure
- Lower your blood pressure…
High blood pressure in mid-life significantly increases the likelihood of developing Dementia in later life.
Worried you may have dementia?
If you are worried about your memory or think you may have dementia, then see your GP as soon as possible. There are treatments and support available and the earlier dementia is diagnosed, the better you can be supported to maintain your independence.
If you have concerns about Alzheimer’s disease or about any other form of dementia, Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 1122 can provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.
The Helpline is usually open from:
9am – 8pm Monday to Wednesday
9am – 5pm on Thursday and Friday
10am – 4pm on Saturday and Sunday
The service may be closed occasionally during these times for operational reasons or because of staff shortage.
Callers speak to trained Helpline Advisers.
The Dementia Advisory Service
If you are worried about your memory problems, but do not have a diagnosis of dementia you will need to contact your GP in the first instance.
The Dementia Advisory Service can provide advice and support for those people diagnosed with dementia, their carers, family and friends. This information includes:
- Living with dementia
- Local support services
- Getting a break
- Legal planning
- Support for carers
- National support services
- Money matters
If you would like more information please contact the Dementia Advisor by:
Tel: 01344 823220 or visit the Dementia Directory at www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/dementia
Bracknell Forest Dementia Action Alliance (DAA)
Bracknell Forest Council is a member of the Bracknell Forest DAA, which was established in October 2014. In 2015 it is estimated that there will be 1,195 people over the age of 65 years living with dementia in Bracknell Forest Source: POPPI database.
The Bracknell Forest DAA works with local public sector organisations, local businesses, retailers and services to facilitate an improved understanding of dementia. This helps to ensure that people with dementia and their carers feel welcome and safe when using their local community facilities, and enable them to live well and independently with dementia at home for as long as possible.
The Alliance’s aims include:
- Sharing of information and good practice amongst members
- Having a voice within the new town centre ‘Regeneration project’
- Identifying future work, sharing of resources and working in partnership.
For more information please visit:
Bracknell Forest’s Safe Place Scheme is being expanded and re-launched in 2015 so that it can provide support to all vulnerable people in the community when they are out and about.
The scheme provides a number of local shops, businesses and amenities within Bracknell Forest that people can access for support if they are feeling anxious, intimidated, unsafe, disorientated, confused or vulnerable in the community.
Local shops, businesses and amenities display a sticker to let people know that they provide a temporary safe place and will help access support for them by telephone.
For more information please visit
Whether you get financial help to pay for your care, or you buy services privately, the Support With Confidence scheme will help you find a wide range of care and support services that you can trust – from people and organisations that have been vetted and approved on grounds of quality, safety, and training.
The ‘Support with Confidence’ scheme is an initiative which is operating in the Bracknell Forest Council area, run by Family Resource Centre UK alongside Trading Standards Service.
For more information on the scheme please visit:
Bracknell Forest Self-Care Guide
The Bracknell Forest Self-Care guide provides information, advice and links to services related to long-term conditions and lifestyle factors. Each chapter has a video which gives a summary of the key messages on each topic.
The Long-Term Conditions Guide gives you practical information and signposting to services to help you manage your condition. Guides can be found for; Arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Coronary Heart Disease, Dementia, Depression and anxiety, Diabetes, Falls, Hypertension and Stroke.
Lifestyle information is available on Alcohol, Diet and Nutrition, Physical Activity and Smoking.
All guides can be accessed through the Self-Care webpage:
The Helping You Stay Independent Guide
The Helping You Stay Independent Guide lists activities, events and groups around Bracknell Forest that can support individuals to remain healthy and independent.
To view or download the Guide as a pdf please visit:
Did you know more than three million people in the UK work and also care for someone? Juggling work and care can be a challenge, but as a carer you have rights at work that can make this easier. There is support available to help you continue both working and caring. You have rights to request flexible working and to challenge decisions if you are not happy with the outcome. You may also have rights to various forms of time off. Your employer may offer other forms of support such as unpaid leave or telephone access to the person you are caring for during your working hours.
If you are an unpaid carer providing regular and substantial care for someone then you may be eligible for support from Bracknell Forest Council.
For more information call the Carers UK’s Carers Line on 0808 808 7777, visit www.carersuk.org or contact Bracknell Forest Council Adult Social Care on 01344 351500 or visit www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/carers or www.carers.org/role-carer
What you can do about dementia
Dementia Friends is about giving more people an understanding of dementia and the small things that could make a difference to people living in their community.
It makes such a huge difference to people with dementia if those around them know what dementia is and how it might affect them.
Introducing Dementia Friends
By 2015, we want there to be a million people with the know-how to help people with dementia feel understood and included in their community. The initiative was fully launch in mid-February 2013 after the initial announcement in November 2012.
Dementia Friends Champions are volunteers who talk to people about being a Dementia Friend in their communities after attending a training course and receiving ongoing support.
A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action – anyone of any age can be a Dementia Friend.
The drive forms part of the six-month progress report on the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia.
Join Dementia Friends
Join Dementia Friends today and help create more communities that are dementia friendly. Go to www.dementiafriends.org.uk to find out more about Dementia Friends or to volunteer as a Dementia Friends Champion.
Alzheimer’s Research Uk fund pioneering research that will make a real difference to people’s lives – now and in the future. Read more about their strategic approach to research, exciting big initiatives and search through some of their pioneering research networks and partnerships at: www.alzheimersresearchuk.org
Interested in improving the quality of life for yourself or others?
What will HealthMakers gain?
- Acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes for good health and wellbeing in their condition.
- Opportunities to influence health services and improve patient care.
- Meeting and working alongside others who are also keen to make a difference.
- Opportunities to raise the patient voice within the Clinical Commissioning Group.
- Listening skills and ability to learn from others.
- To inspire and be inspired.
- Create and participate in strong local networks / groups around their condition and train others to do so.
- Make a strong and local difference and improve health outcomes for others.
- Reduce the need for medication and hospital admissions.
- Evidence of team building/counselling and leadership for their CVs.
- Certificates will be provided which can be used to support continued professional development.