By Leah Conway –
September marks World Alzheimer’s Month – a month to raise awareness and join the conversation about dementia. World Alzheimer’s Day is part of the awareness month, which takes place on 21 September.
Time to talk
Why is World Alzheimer’s Month important? Well, it is a time to raise awareness of how it can impact everyone and anyone’s life. It highlights how people are affected by the condition, and helps challenge the stigma surrounding it. Nearly 50 million people live with dementia worldwide. A report commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Society in November 2019 estimated around 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, projected to accelerate to 1.6 million by 2040
The Alzheimer’s Society aims to talk about dementia and support those who have received a dementia diagnosis. Like many awareness months, a big part of the month surrounds education. There is an annual effort to encourage people to support Alzheimer’s charities and demystify dementia.
Last year, the month-long campaign surrounded the theme, ‘Let’s talk about dementia.’
This year, the campaign’s theme is ‘Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’. A month to shine the light on diagnosis, warning signs of dementia and encourage people to seek information, advice, and support rather than shy away from talking about dementia.
What can you do during World Alzheimer’s Month?
Organisations and charities such as Alzheimer’s Society ask people to join the conversation during World Alzheimer’s Month; to break the silence, share & talk about dementia, and you can even join their ‘Dementia Friends movement.’
Here’s just a brief overview of the range of activities and challenges you can take part in to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s:
You can take part in running events to raise money for charities. During World Alzheimer’s Month, there is the Leeds Half Marathon on 5 September. The opportunity to run for Alzheimer’s goes beyond the awareness month with the Yorkshire Marathon, Yorkshire 10 Mile run in October.
If running is not for you, there is plenty of trekking options that run throughout the year, including Step up for dementia, Trek26 Lake District Walk and Trek up Yorkshire Three Peaks – which both took place in June this year. You can also join York nearest’ Memory Walk’, in September there will be a Memory walk in Leeds on the 25 September, followed by one in Castle Howard on 3 October. If you miss the organised date, Alzheimer’s society also supports people to organise their own walk.
Take the dive
If you’re looking for a bout of adrenaline this awareness month, you can skydive this September. Multiple centres across the UK will support the jump for Alzheimer’s on 25 & 26 of September.
You can register for £35 and need to fundraise at least £430 per person to take part in the 10,000-foot free fall.
Year to Remember
If you’re looking for a year-long challenge, you can commit to the ‘Year to Remember’. The challenge runs throughout the year and challenges participants to run, swim or cycle 365 miles, quit something for 52 days (Or 52 weeks for a more formidable challenge!), and raise £1140 for a dementia adviser, which would support them 12 days.
There are plenty of other challenges and events that run throughout the year, including special events such as ‘An Afternoon Beaufort’, webinars, carolling at Christmas. There is also a wealth of social and virtual events and opportunities to get involved in your own time, and Alzheimer’s Society can also support you to make your own challenge.
Alzheimer’s is a worldwide concern. There are international events such as trekking Sahara trek, the Everest base camp trek, The Great Wall trek, and international marathons to raise awareness and support.
Alzheimer’s support in UK & Yorkshire
- Alzheimer’s Society
- It’s Only Me! Befriending Service (Kirklees and Calderdale)
- Antony David – Online Quiz, Games and Singing (Based in Wakefield, open to all affected by dementia)
- Online Sporting Memories Group – Leeds United, Leeds Rhinos, Leeds MaeCare (Based in Leeds, for anyone age 50+, especially those affected by dementia, depression, isolation and loneliness.)
- Creative Calls – creativity and befriending service. (Based in Manchester, for people with dementia)
- The Doncaster Admiral Service (Registered at Doncaster GP)
- Support and advice for unpaid carers (Blackburn with Darwen)
- Young Carers (York, for unpaid carers 5-18 years)
- Dementia Connect support line (All)
- Dementia Talking Point (all)
- Carers UK Helpline
- Creative Calls (All)
- In-TanDEM (All)
Thank you to Kirstie for sharing her beautiful poem with us, dedicated to her grandfather who is living with dementia. 💙
— Alzheimer's Society (@alzheimerssoc) August 30, 2021