Each year, World Alzheimer’s Day is recognised during the month of September, which is also World Alzheimer’s Month. It is an opportunity to recognise the impact the condition has on our growing and aging population, offering the chance to learn more and support charities associated with the disease.
This year, the theme for World Alzheimer's Month is ‘Know dementia, know Alzheimer's’. This is the same theme as 2021, but this year it has a special focus on post-diagnosis support. According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, the number of people with dementia globally is estimated to be 50 million. Currently, this is around 5.2% of people over 60 worldwide and is projected to nearly triple by 2050. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common version of dementia diagnosed.
Being told you or a family member have Alzheimer’s Disease can be an incredibly frightening and uncertain experience. Knowing what resources are available and what the future may look like is a good start in processing the diagnosis. For example, Alzheimer's Society can help you adjust to a diagnosis and access support, whilst a GP can make recommendations and referrals for long-term care.
As medical students and professionals, it is good to use World Alzheimer’s Day to acquaint yourself with new scientific advances and how social care for Alzheimer’s patients has developed. It is likely you will see many patients with the disease throughout your career, even if it is a secondary condition to the one you are treating. Look at how you can better support patients and their families to offer the best care possible.
During World Alzheimer’s Day and throughout September, Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging individuals to:
You can learn more at alzheimers.org.uk