Today is World Alzheimer's Day. It was launched in Edinburgh, Scotland on September 21, 1994.
World Alzheimer's Day is the pinnacle of World Alzheimer's Month, which is held every September. Launched in 2012 by Alzheimer Disease International (ADI), the global month-long campaign is aimed at raising awareness and challenging the stigma and misinformation that surrounds Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
According to ADI, two out of every three people globally believe that there is little or no understanding of dementia in their country. While awareness about Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia is improving, the stigma and misinformation about the conditions remain a global problem. This year, for the 6th annual awareness month, the theme focuses on the importance of early detection and diagnosis.
As ADI explains, "A diagnosis of dementia that is made early in the course of the condition enables people with dementia and their families to be better equipped to cope with the progression of the condition, and to have the opportunity to live more meaningful and productive lives."
More specifically, through early detection and diagnosis, people affected by dementia are more likely to be connected to appropriate care, services, and supports that are designed to meet their unique needs. They may also be better placed to manage the responsive behaviours associated with dementia. While responsive behaviours vary, some examples include agitation and restlessness; verbal outbursts, including swearing and screaming; physical aggression, such as grabbing others; and sexual disinhibition. For some individuals with dementia, early detection and diagnosis, along with symptom management and support, may reduce the risk of criminal justice involvement.
Today, Dementia Justice joins organizations, individuals, and other stakeholders from around the world to help raise awareness and challenge the stigma surrounding Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
To learn more about the international campaign and to download materials, please visit the ADI website.
About Dementia Justice
Dementia Justice is a federally incorporated non-profit society dedicated to advancing the rights, needs and dignity of people with dementia who are, or are at risk of becoming, involved with the criminal justice system. We aim to achieve our objectives through public advocacy, awareness-raising, education, and interdisciplinary legal and policy research.