News Release

Anti-stigma campaign ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia’ marks beginning of World Alzheimer’s Month

1 September 2019

ADI launches global World Alzheimer's Month campaign under the theme of ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia’ to raise awareness and address stigma around dementia

  • 2 in 3 people still think that dementia is caused by normal ageing
  • 1 in 4 people think that there is nothing we can do to prevent dementia
  • 1/5th of people attribute dementia to bad luck, almost 10 per cent to God’s will and 2 per cent to witchcraft
  • Every 3 seconds someone in the world develops dementia

1 September 2019 – A global campaign launched today by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) aims to get people talking more comfortably and openly about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Today, 1 September, marks the beginning of the month of awareness. ‘Let’s Talk About Dementia’, is based on the understanding that talking about dementia helps tackle the stigma, normalises language and encourages people to find our more, seek help, advice and support.

The campaign, in multiple languages, encourages that often difficult first conversation and then aims to demystify dementia and to get people talking – through discussion and conversation comes better planning and support.

Stigma surrounding dementia is still a major barrier to people accessing help, advice and support. Stigma can be similar to that around other mental health issues, be focussed on age related stigma, be based on a lack of available medical treatments and even put down to factors like being bewitched, but there is so much support available across the world and talking and planning can help people to live well for as long as possible.

On World Alzheimer’s Day, 21 September, ADI will also release this year’s World Alzheimer Report focussing on the results of a global survey of almost 70,000 people – the biggest survey of attitudes to dementia ever undertaken.

The survey, conducted by Alzheimer’s Disease International and the London School of Economics (LSE), highlights some of the key awareness and stigma challenges, attitudes and behaviour around dementia,

Two thirds of people who responded to the survey still believe that dementia is caused by normal ageing and 1 in 4 people think that there is nothing we can do to prevent dementia.  These are huge barriers to people coming forward and realising that there is so much you can do to manage the condition and live well at home and in the community for as long as possible.  The “Let’s talk about dementia” campaign simply aims to get people into a conversation about dementia, the warning signs, risk reduction, who to speak to and where to go for advice.

The full survey results come as ADI launches its global campaign, “Let’s Talk About Dementia’, during September, the month of awareness, which aims to get people talking more comfortably and openly about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease International CEO, Paola Barbarino, says: “On World Alzheimer’s Day, ADI will launch its World Report on global attitudes to dementia, based on a survey of almost 70,000 people across 150 countries. A key finding in the survey shows that 2 out of 3 people that responded still think that dementia is caused by normal ageing. We must break through the stigma and get people talking openly about dementia to plan well.”

“Let’s Talk About Dementia’, is based on the understanding that talking about dementia helps tackle the stigma, normalises language and encourages people to find our more, seek help, advice and support. The campaign, in multiple languages, encourages that often difficult first conversation and then aims to demystify dementia and to get people talking – through discussion and conversation comes better planning and support.”

Ms Barbarino says, “We need to get people talking more comfortably about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Dementia is one of the most significant global health and social care crises in the 21st century, with someone developing it every 3 seconds, but the stigma that surrounds it, and a lack of available treatments, means people delay talking about it and delay seeking advice and support, losing valuable time."

Lack of knowledge about dementia leads to inaccurate assumptions about its effects on the person and their family and negative stereotypes about how a person with dementia will behave. The campaign will focus on increasing conversations around dementia globally, as evidence suggests that when people living with dementia and their families are well prepared and supported, initial feelings of shock, anger and grief are balanced by a sense of reassurance and empowerment.

Deaths due to dementias more than doubled between 2000 and 2016, making it the 5th leading cause of global deaths in 2016 compared to 14th in 2000. The prevalence of dementia is increasing exponentially globally with the number of people living with dementia predicted to triple from 50 million currently to 152 million by 2050. The annual cost of dementia is over US$ 1 trillion – a figure set to double.

For story ideas, interview requests and more information, please contact:
 

Alzheimer’s Disease International
 

Annabelle Dick
Mana Communications
T: +64 (0)27 819 7011
E: ad@manacommunications.com

Caleb Hulme-Moir
Mana Communications
T: +64 (0)22 069 8065
E: chm@manacommunications.com