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Six little things you can do to help people with dementia

Published: Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Everyone can do six little things to help people with dementia. That’s the message of new campaign in Edinburgh to tackle the stigma surrounding a condition affecting nearly 8000 people in the city.

We can’t cure dementia yet, but we can all cure the stigma is based on the ideas of people with dementia. It aims to highlight the stigma associated with dementia - and the little things we can all do to help. 

A total of 7688 people in Edinburgh have dementia and this is set to increase by two thirds in the next 20 years.


Stigma and lack of understanding are major barriers for people with dementia, according to 66% of people who responded to a recent Alzheimer’s Society survey.

Many people don’t understand dementia and think that a diagnosis means that a person is immediately incapable of working or carrying on with their daily routine.

According to recent research by the Alzheimer’s Society, fewer than half:

  • think their area is geared up to help them live well with dementia (42%)
  • feel a part of the community (47%).

  • confident

    But there are little things that everyone can do to support and encourage people with dementia.

    These help them feel confident enough to continue with day-to-day activities for many years, such as shopping and getting out and about.


    The campaign is part of ongoing work by the City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian and Alzheimer Scotland to make Edinburgh a dementia friendly city. It has been devised along with Edinburgh residents who have dementia and their relatives.

    The new campaign includes a radio advert featuring the ideas and voices of people affected by dementia - and a poster campaign for bus shelters, shops, pubs, clubs and pharmacies.

    Activities will take place in the city throughout the campaign, including dementia awareness sessions with retailers, councillors, Council and NHS staff.

    A ‘dementia friendly’ performance of Plutôt La Vie theatre company’s production ‘Clean Sweep’, co-hosted with the Festival Theatre, has already taken place. It was attended by people with dementia, their friends and family and was specifically designed to provide an accepting environment and relaxed atmosphere for people with dementia.

    get involved!

    Become more dementia aware by signing up to Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Friends programme.

    Listen to our radio advert: We can’t cure dementia yet, but we can all cure the stigma.

    Join in the Twitter conversation @Edinburgh_CC #dementia6littlethings

    Find out more about the campaign at

    Alzheimer Scotland 24 hour dementia helpline 0808 808 3000

    Six easy ways to help someone with dementia

    Stigma not only hurts people with dementia. It also stops them and their families confiding in others and getting the support they need.

    For someone with dementia, it’s the little things that make the difference:

    6 steps