The theme for World Alzheimer's month 2015 is Remember Me. This September people around the world are encouraged to recognise the early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s, and to remember loved ones who are living with the condition, or those who may have passed away.
In 2015, it is estimated that 46.8 million people worldwide live with dementia, this figure is estimated to increase to over 130 million by 2050.
Dementia is most common in Western Europe and mainly affects older people. The fastest growth in the elderly population is taking place in South Asia, Western Pacific, India and China, by 2050 it is estimated that 68% of people with dementia will live in developing countries.
Dementia isn’t a disease, it’s a group of symptoms that affect mental tasks such as memory and reasoning, communication and performance of daily activities. It can be caused by a variety of conditions, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease, which specifically affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, it can have a devastating impact on the ability to function independently. It’s a major cause of disability for older people, and places an emotional and financial burden on families.
According to the Alzheimer’s association, there are ten early warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in planning or solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
- Confusion with time or place
- Trouble understanding visual images
- New problems with words in speaking or writing
- Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
- Decreased or poor judgement
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
- Changes in mood and personality
An individual may experience one or more of these signs, in different degrees. If you, or anyone you know, is displaying any of these signs, it is important to seek medical attention.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease visit Alzheimer’s Disease International