For the last year and a half, the global population has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While some countries have started to resume some level of pre-Covid engagement, others are experiencing ongoing waves of restrictions and lockdowns.
During this time, we have highlighted the disproportionate impact on people living with dementia and their carers, as well as growing concerns about increased or accelerated risk of dementia as a direct result of COVID-19. We have also addressed the disruption to diagnosis and the consequences, short and long term, of what this is likely to mean for individuals, communities and countries.
That is why this World Alzheimer’s Month and the theme of ‘Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’, has never been so important.
This September, we are shining a light on the importance of a timely diagnosis and the warning signs of dementia. Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is often a challenging and difficult process and varies greatly around the world. To add to this, the stigma surrounding dementia means that many avoid seeking out a help and a diagnosis until the very late stages of the condition. We need to change this.
Throughout the month of September, we will be raising awareness around several different themes of dementia diagnosis, including the experiences of diagnosis from people living with dementia across the world, the importance of a timely diagnosis, the 10 warning signs of dementia and more.
‘Like, heart and share’
One of the most simple and effective ways you can support this World Alzheimer’s Month is by engaging with and sharing our messages on social media. One simple click, in the form of a ‘like’, ‘heart’ or retweet, can allow people to see our messages, who may have not seen them otherwise.
Watch our social media accounts during September and if you see a message that resonates with you or that you think other people should know, go ahead and ‘like’, ‘heart’ or share.
Follow us on social media
Of course, you should also follow ADI and your national association on social media.
To follow us on social media, click the icons and follow our pages.
Share your own story
With over 50 million currently living with dementia, forecast to increase to 150 million by 2050, most of us are affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in some capacity.
During awareness campaigns such as World Alzheimer’s Month, we can often feel inspired to share our own experiences with others. While this form of sharing may feel a bit uncomfortable taking place in a virtual setting, sharing our stories in an online space can allow us to reach and connect with other individuals and communities who may have had similar experiences – and additionally, be able to offer advice and support.
We will be sharing short videos from people living with dementia and their carers and families – testimonies about their diagnosis experiences – the good and the bad, throughout September. You might want to add your own thoughts, advice and experience, as it could help so many others.
The power of hashtags
Our official hashtags for World Alzheimer’s Month are #KnowDementia and #KnowAlzheimers, as well as #WorldAlzMonth.
When hashtags are used on social media platforms, they allow other people to find messages and follow themes, conversations and campaigns that they might be interested in. Hashtags have the simple but powerful ability to spread messages across social media networks, highlighting important messages that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.
If you decide you’d like to use our campaign materials on social media or perhaps have your own message to share under the theme of ‘Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’, please use the hashtags #KnowDementia and #KnowAlzheimers. Using these hashtags will allow us at ADI and others around the world, to see your message and support for this World Alzheimer’s Month.
Attend a virtual event
Since the launch of the World Alzheimer’s Month campaign 10 years ago, Alzheimer and dementia organisations across the world have continued to innovate new ways and methods of raise awareness raising.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020, this has never been more true. During the World Alzheimer’s Month 2020 campaign of ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia’, ADI members across the world hosted virtual events, many for the first time. Whether in the form of a virtual memory walks, World Alzheimer’s Day workshops or roundtable discussions, associations found ways to continue awareness raising throughout September.
This World Alzheimer’s Month is no exception and many national associations are continuing to offer events virtually. As with in-person events, showing up and participating is a great way to show support for your national association and World Alzheimer’s Month.