Meeting the challenge of dementia

With World Alzheimer’s Day taking place tomorrow, Doug Anthoney reflects on the challenge presented by dementia, and the work that’s going on across Scotland’s communities to meet it.

Dementia is fast becoming one the biggest challenges facing our society.  Around 84,000 people have dementia in Scotland, all but 3,000 of whom are aged 65 or older, and this figure expected to double within 25 years.  There is currently is no cure.

However across the country there are organisations, groups and teams working together creatively, innovatively, and with dedication, to make a real difference to the daily lives of people with dementia, and their families.  This afternoon their work will be showcased at Scotland’s first ever Dementia Awards at Hampden Park, organised by a partnership of Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland, NHS Health Scotland and Scottish Social Services Council.

There will be six awards; from the acute care service that provides the most exceptional support to people with dementia when they are acutely ill, to the community support initiative that has best helped people with dementia be more independent and involved in their community.  Successful partnership working, educational projects, communitiy initiativesand empowerment work will also be recognised.   With over 120 applications received, its certain that the judges decisions will be hard to make.

The next edition of Age Scotland’s Advantage magazine, to be published at the end of this month, will include a Spotlight on Dementia that gives information about the condition and profiles national and local support services, including Age Concern Eastwood Dementia Centre – one of the many Age Scotland member groups working to make life better for older people with dementia and their carers.  Advantage is free to older people in Scotland, and to their friends, families and carers.  To receive it direct by post, please email advantage@agescotland.org.uk with your full address details. 

Doug Anthoney is Age Scotland Communication and Campaigns Officer

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