This is Dementia Awareness Week (17-23 May) and across the country efforts are being made to increase knowledge of the condition.
Today Mike Padgham, Chair of the Independent Care Group (York and North Yorkshire) said that work was vital.
“It is crucial that, as a society, we become more aware of what it is like to live with dementia,” he said.
“Only then we can we hope to provide the right type of care and support to help those living with it to enjoy and happy and fulfilled life.
“There is still a long way to go before we can truly say that this country is dementia friendly.”
Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes.
Although there is as yet no cure, there is treatment and support for sufferers.
This year the Alzheimer’s Society, which promotes Dementia Awareness Week, has adopted the theme of “Do Something New for Dementia Awareness Week”. Its research found that more than half of the British public want to try something new but that less than a third had done so in the past year.
Some 59% of people say they are worried that developing dementia would prevent them from enjoying new experiences at all.
“Another message of Dementia Awareness Week is that there is no need to suffer alone, there is a wide variety of help and support out there and people should take advantage of it and live a full and fulfilling life,” Mr Padgham added.
“We have to get the message across that, although we need to do more, life doesn’t end when dementia begins.”