There are 850,000 people in the UK living with Alzheimer’s, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. Despite this huge number, a staggering 67% of people around the globe believe that there is little or no understanding of Alzheimer’s due to stigmatisation and misinformation.
Ahead of World Alzheimer’s Month in September and World Alzheimer’s Day on 21st September, Active Minds have endeavoured to raise awareness and bust myths surrounding Alzheimer’s by answering the most common misconceptions about the disease.
#1 Alzheimer’s and Dementia Are the Same Thing
The word dementia is an umbrella term, describing 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 – Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia.
#2 Alzheimer’s Only Effects the Elderly
1 in 6 people over the age of 80 in the UK are living with Alzheimer’s. Whilst most people effected are aged 65 and over, around 5% of people with the disease can develop symptoms in their 30’s – this is referred to as early-onset Alzheimer’s and can be genetic.
#3 Alzheimer’s Symptoms Are a Normal Part of Ageing
Over time, occasional memory loss is to be expected and is often a normal part of the ageing process however this should not be mistaken for symptoms such as severe forgetfulness and disorientation which are common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is much more than occasional memory loss, causing brain cells to malfunction and eventually die – this can result in a distressing loss of treasured memories.
#4 Alzheimer’s Isn’t Fatal
Alzheimer’s remains the leading cause of death in the UK, accounting for 12% of all recorded deaths. Unfortunately, the nature of Alzheimer’s means that it destroys brain cells, causing permanent changes to memory – this often results in a person being stripped of their identity and common liberties before the disease is fatal.
Active Minds strive to improve quality of life and relationships for those living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, offering a huge variety of meaningful and engaging activities, puzzles, games and sensory experiences for nursing and residential homes.
Active Mind’s Founder, Ben Atkinson-Willes commented: “At Active Minds, we’re dedicated to improving the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers. Our recent social impact study revealed that 91% of carers agreed that Active Mind’s products improved well-being with 103,300 people noticing an improvement in their quality of life so far.”
By creating specific and targeted activities, Active Mind’s dementia products aim to reduce depression, boredom and isolation – 100% of professional carers and 80% of family members agree that their activities improve the quality of life of people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.