Results from the world’s largest survey on attitudes to dementia reveals a startling lack of global knowledge around dementia, with two thirds of people still thinking the disease is a normal part of ageing rather than a neurodegenerative disorder.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), the international federation of 100 Alzheimer associations and federations around the world, mark World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September) with the release the World Alzheimer Report 2019: Attitudes to dementia. The report reveals the results of the largest attitudes to dementia survey ever undertaken, with responses from almost 70,000 people across 155 countries and territories. Analysis of the study was carried out by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
The report reveals that stigma around dementia is preventing people from seeking the information, advice, support and medical help that could dramatically improve their length and quality of life for what is one of the world’s fastest growing causes of death globally.
Welcoming the report ahead of World Alzheimer’s Day, Henry Simmons, Alzheimer Scotland’s Chief Executive, said: “As a longstanding member of Alzheimer’s Disease International, we are disappointed to see that globally we still have so much to do to challenge the stigma and myths that surround dementia.
“In Scotland we have led the way over many years in bringing these barriers down. We have over 84,000 people signed up to our Dementia Friends initiative, thousands have been supporting our Memory Walks this month and many thousands more are supporting our Fair Dementia Care Campaign, which aims to ensure that people living with advanced dementia have equal access to free health and specialist nursing care they need in advanced illness on par with those with other progressive and terminal illnesses. We also have over 21 local Dementia Resource Centres and we and other partners are fully engaged and committed to making the whole of Scotland dementia- friendly.
“The collective voice of people with dementia and carers through the Scottish Dementia Working Group and National Dementia Carers Action Network have been at the heart of every national policy and have helped shaped a progressive national skills framework for health and social care staff named ‘Promoting Excellence’.
“We welcome this significant global report and look forward to sharing with other countries the progress we have made to date, whilst at the same time continuing to make sure no one faces dementia alone across an increasingly inclusive and dementia-friendly Scotland.”
Alzheimer Disease International’s Chief Executive Paola Barbarino, says: “Stigma is the single biggest barrier limiting people around the world from dramatically improving how they live with dementia. Currently, there is very little information about how stigma manifests in relation to people with dementia and how this may vary around the world. “This detailed survey and report now give us a baseline of information for dementia-related stigma at a global, regional and national level. We’re hopeful these findings can kick start positive reform and change globally.”
ADI launched its global campaign ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia’, on 1 September 2019 to mark the beginning of the month of awareness. The campaign is based on the understanding that talking about dementia helps tackle the stigma, normalises language and encourages people to find out more, seek help, advice and support. For more information and to review the full report visit: https://www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month
In World Alzheimer’s Month, learn about the Alzheimer Scotland International Centre: world leading approaches to dementia
Alzheimer Scotland’s International Centre, in partnership with colleagues from the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, University West of Scotland, offers study tour programmes for international groups and individuals to engage with our creative and transformative work across Scotland to support people with dementia, families, carers and communities. The opportunity to directly engage with the people and approaches at the heart of our world-leading developments, along with experiencing the exciting cultural centres and stunningly beautiful landscapes of Scotland, assures you a warm welcome and a rich learning experience. For more information about our International Centre, and to begin making arrangements for your study tour trip, get in touch with the International Centre team by clicking the get in touch button at www.alzscot.org/our-work/international-centre
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