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LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 19-May-14 11:47:21

Dementia Awareness: Don't Bottle It Up

We're supporting Alzheimer's Society's campaign - Don't Bottle It Up. The charity is urging those who have concerns about a loved one (or themselves) to talk to them as soon as possible and get the help and support they can provide.

Alzheimer's Society

Dementia Awareness Week: don't bottle it up

Posted on: Mon 19-May-14 11:47:21


Lead photo

People with dementia, their carers and Alzheimer's Society staff bash giant bottle-shaped piñatas in east London's Victoria Park. The bottles, which contained confetti and common fears people have about dementia were created to mark the start of Dementia Awareness Week in May 2014.

What would you do if you had concerns about an older relative's memory? Or even your own, or your partner's? Perhaps you'd bottle up your feelings so as not to worry that loved one, as well as other family and friends. Maybe you'd dismiss it as a normal part of ageing?

Despite the fact that dementia affects 800,000 people in the UK and numbers are on the rise, many people who have a serious cause for concern are still reluctant to seek help. The truth is that if it is dementia, the sooner you know what you are dealing with, the sooner you can feel in control again and continue enjoying life.

That's why this Dementia Awareness Week™, which runs from 18 - 24 May, Alzheimer's Society is asking people to stop bottling up concerns about dementia and talk about them today. Whether it's yourself or a loved one you are worried about - the charity want to let people know they are here for them every step of the way.

The truth is that if it is dementia, the sooner you know what you are dealing with, the sooner you can feel in control again and continue enjoying life.

In order to encourage more people to seek help earlier, Alzheimer's Society has enlisted the support of Hollywood actress, Alice Eve, who has appeared in films such as Star Trek: Into the Darkness and She's Out of My League. Alice, whose family has been affected, said: "I've had relatives who have lived with dementia and so I understand how difficult it can be. There can be a stigma attached, which can make it difficult to talk about. We all bury our heads in the sand from time to time, but by doing this we are in danger of isolating both ourselves and the people we care about.

"Alzheimer's Society provided my family with advice and support at the time we needed it most and they are there for everyone in a similar position. That's why this Dementia Awareness Week I am urging anyone who has concerns about dementia to stop bottling it up and call the National Dementia Helpline. They helped my family and they can do the same for you too."

Alzheimer's Society understands dementia. They are here for you - and there are lots of ways they can help. From calling their Helpline, to visiting their website or attending a local group, support is available every step of the way. Call them on 0300 222 1122 or email them at [email protected].

Dementia Awareness Week 2014 runs from 18-24 May. Take part in the conversation on Twitter #DAW2014 and find out more on the website.

By Alzheimer's Society

Twitter: @alzheimerssoc

annsixty Mon 19-May-14 12:32:49

I can speak with some knowledge here and "not bottling it up" sometimes isn't an option.I knew for a long time my husband had a problem but having him admit to it and do something about it was difficult.I talked it over with the GP in a visit for myself but was told the approach had to come from him.They would not instigate it and as he wasn't on medication for anything else they could not even call him in for a review.It was some time before I was able to persuade him to make an appointment when a referral was made to the Memory Clinic where a diagnosis of Alzhiemers Disease was made but I lived with it for about three years.

kittylester Mon 19-May-14 12:39:14

Ann you gave my sympathy. It took us ages to persuade mum to go to the doctor and, looking back, the signs were there for quite a while before.

Take care flowers

ninathenana Tue 20-May-14 06:34:29

The forum on the above mentioned web site was enormous comfort and support whilst helping my mum.

BethH Tue 20-May-14 15:55:24

I really understand how you feel. My husband has frontal lobe dementia, now worsened by a fall after Christmas. I knew for a long time there was something wrong, we even had to come back from living in our dream house in France. It is a lonely road even when you have family, Michael's children think I am making it up so that is difficult too. The Alzheimers Society have been good as have local carer support groups although hate being labelled.
I wish you all the best

Aka Tue 20-May-14 16:45:25

Ann it's ridiculous that the approach has to come from the patient as they often won't admit there's a problem, and so treatment which could slow down the condition is not prescribed soon enough.

Aka Tue 20-May-14 16:47:57

Beth it's the person who is living with them 24/7 who notices first. Family members do tend to think you're 'making it up' or exaggerating the situation.

annsixty Tue 20-May-14 18:00:34

Thank you all for your responses , and best wishes to you Beth it is very hard isn't it? My husband is now on 10mgs of Aricept every other day for 2 weeks and then everyday until a review in August if there are no side effects. So far there is no improvement at all after 6 weeks and my fear is that treatment was started too late. I also have the same problem as Beth with family not being with it 24 hours a day and then only seeing what they want to see.I am sorry to sound so down but that is how I am feeling just now. We have also had to notify DVLA and that is not going down well at all.

kittylester Wed 21-May-14 07:07:28

Ann when my mum was put on Aricept we were told that the main purpose was to slow the decline, not improve matters. I think mum was diagnosed too late for it to be any help at all really.

As mum lived on her own, it took a while before we three put our experiences together and I was detailed to go with her to the GP. The defiining moment was finding a letter from a company trying to collect a £3,000 electricity bill shock

mimicat1 Fri 23-May-14 00:12:44

My mother referred herself for tests, he father had suffered from it and she knew. She is now in a home at £550 a week some judge in London ordered that and I fell out with my sisters over it. Her false teeth were lost at Christmas she is still without them ................ God help us all!

sassy60 Fri 23-May-14 11:50:34

I feel for all those who live with or have loved ones with dementia as it is such a difficult thing to deal with. Everyone is different and no two cases are alike. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with early onset dementia just over a year ago and it has been an uphill struggle at times. She does take anti-depressants when she wants to, so not daily and lives in an assisted living flat. Our daughter cleans for her and my husband, who is ill himself, takes her shopping. At first we were all in total shock but now seem to manage quite well. Who knows what we have to come but at 82 mother-in-law is not going to be cured. Physically she is great but her mind is not quite there. God bless everyone, sufferers and carers alike and I hope you all find solace and help.
Take heart. xx

BethH Fri 23-May-14 14:16:18

My heart is full for all of you. Hope we can all find some peace somehow.

knit987blue Fri 23-May-14 15:14:50

This is exactly where we are at the moment my husband is definitely struggling ( the rest of us are as well if I'm honest ). He's only 67 but is very defensive when I try to talk about it. So I don't push it. I have just become a dementia friend and will soon be a champion. It's some thing we can all do. I was a Sister in a dementia unit so had some insight but living with it is so much more difficult. I have nothing but admiration for suffers and carers

marioneliz Fri 23-May-14 22:29:53

My husband, 64, has just had a diagnosis of Alzheimers this week. We have known there was a problem for a few months now but to be told "officially" is very hard. We have lived with his MS for the past 34 years and had put the memory problems down to that, how wrong could we be.

annsixty Sat 24-May-14 08:51:30

To all of you, perhaps posting for the first time,as I haven't noticed your names before, I send you my best wishes.It seems that,like me, some have recently diagnosed partners and I have found that Dementia Week,while bringing the problem into public awareness is a double edged sword. The interview with Ian Botham in todays Telegraph has filled me with dread for my,and my DH's future.

posie Sat 24-May-14 12:21:41

Yes the future seems very scary. I've just read the interview ann & I so hope it doesn't end up that bad for us.

It starts as memory problems, but this has a knock on effect & soon leads to lots of other problems, which I had no idea about.

We've started going to a dementia meet up in local café once a month. It's good to meet other people who understand what you're going through because they're going through similar themselves.
Although saying that I did wonder as we got ready to go on Thursday if it was worth all the stress & aggravation I had to go through to get there!
I was glad that I'd persevered though & felt better for it.

kittylester Sat 24-May-14 18:03:06

(((hugs))) for all of you with partners who have been diagnosed. It is horrid and seems so much worse for people who are still young!

kbhana507 Wed 28-Feb-24 01:37:51

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