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Support dementia awareness week in Lewisham

 

NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging residents to support dementia awareness week this month and help spread the word that life doesn't end when dementia begins. 

Dementia awareness week is organised by the Alzheimer's Society, who are this year encouraging supporters to 'do something new' to highlight that having dementia doesn't mean you have to stop doing the things you love.

Dr Marc Rowland, a local GP and chair of  Lewisham CCG, said there are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and that the number is steadily increasing[1].

"There is currently no cure for dementia and it can happen to anyone," he said.

"However, it is important to recognise that having dementia doesn't mean that you have to stop doing the things you love and trying new things.

"Dementia does make it harder to do certain things but many people with dementia have active, healthy lives and continue their hobbies even as the disease progresses.

"With the right knowledge and support it is possible for someone with dementia to get the very best out of life."

Dementia awareness week runs between 17-23 May and the Alzheimer's Society has put together a few ideas of different things people can try to do something new because having dementia does not mean that you cannot explore something different:

  • Try out a new recipe – be ambitious and try something different to your usual cooking style

  • Sign up for a language class - many places offer classes to help you learn a range of languages, or you can often find free online courses

  • Find a new sport or exercise to try out for the first time - look for a class you haven't done at the gym before, or get your friends out to play a group game in the park

  • Make plans for that big trip you've always wanted to go on - you might not be quite ready to go yet, but choose a date and get things moving

  • Get a new hairstyle (or colour) - many salons offer free or cut price cuts to help with training

  • Visit somewhere you've never been before – either close to home or further afield  

Residents in Lewisham are encouraged to share what they're doing on social media using the hashtags #DoSomethingNew and #DAW2015.

The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and

difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.

Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or a series of strokes. Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse.

For details about the symptoms of dementia visit www.nhs.uk 

If you have any concerns or are worried about your memory, please speak to your GP.

For more information about dementia awareness week 2015 visit www.alzheimers.org.uk

[1] Dementia UK: Update, The Alzheimer's Society: second edition. http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=2759