‘A little support makes a big difference’

Starting Monday 20 September, the theme for this year’s Dementia Action Week (20-26 September 2021), is ‘A little support makes a big difference’.

With the national awareness campaign leading the discussion about discrimination and dementia, this year the challenge to all Australians is to increase our understanding about this debilitating condition and how we can make a difference to the lives of people who are impacted by it.

Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe AM says that during Dementia Action Week, Dementia Australia will share information and tips to show the many meaningful ways we can all make a difference to the everyday experience of people living with dementia and their carers.

“Once a person is diagnosed, there is a common perception that they have a complete loss of function and independence when there is a wealth of evidence that shows people living with dementia, with good support, can live active and fulfilling lives for many years,” says Ms McCabe.

“Our research shows that people living with dementia and carers experience discrimination that can lead to social isolation, loneliness and poor mental health.

“People living with dementia report that social invitations and inclusion start to dwindle.

“Carer’s report feeling they no longer have the support of family or friends when the reality is often people close to them withdraw not knowing how to help or not wanting to intrude.

“Often the ‘discriminatory’ behaviour is unintended and rather a result of a lack of awareness and understanding about dementia.

“The restrictions and lockdowns of Covid-19 have exacerbated these experiences for people living with dementia and carers.

“We need to change this experience for people impacted by dementia and Dementia Action Week is one way to start inspiring the community to act and to learn more – to understand how their words, behaviour and responses can make a difference to the lives of people living dementia and carers.”

For further information about Dementia Action Week 2021 and to learn more about how you can show your support, visit: dementia.org.au/dementia-action-week/show-your-support

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