Dementia Awareness Week - know the signs and beat the stigma

It’s Dementia Awareness Week, and events designed to start conversations about it are taking place across Edinburgh.

With the number of people who have the illness set to double over the next 20 years, organisers are encouraging us to talk about dementia in a bid to dispel myths and to help those who are affected.

Events to mark the awareness week are complementing an ongoing drive to make Edinburgh a dementia friendly city by a partnership of the city of Edinburgh Council, Alzheimer Scotland and NHS Lothian.

The group also launched the “6 little things” campaign this February, which tells people how to cure the stigma of dementia by knowing six simple facts.

People can drop by information stalls at venues such as shopping centres, libraries and hospitals across the capital for friendly, specialist advice over a cup of tea.

A blog entitled Let’s talk about Dementia (#AHPDementia) will host different themes each day, and readers can post questions for a range of experts including occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and dieticians.

Anyone hosting an event to mark the week are being asked to use #dementia6littlethings on Twitter, and by liking and sharing messages posted on Facebook by the Council.

Dementia friendly communities have sprung up in places such as Portobello, South Queensferry, Barton and Cramond, with a new initiative launching in the Pentlands this week - check out local pubs for “6littlethings” campaign beer mats.

Find details of all the road-show events running in the city this week on the Council’s website.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health, Social Care and Housing Convener, said: “The awareness week is the ideal opportunity for us all to get involved in conversations about the illness. While it’s great that we’re living longer, this is leading to increasing numbers of people experiencing dementia.

“Let’s get conversations going with loved ones about dementia and together we can beat the stigma and also support those who have it.”

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