World Alzheimer's Day

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World Alzheimer's Day was established in 1994 by the World Health Organisation and the Alzheimer's Federation. Alzheimer's Disease Internationalwith the aim of drawing attention to and combating the stigma of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementiaIt is responsible for 50 to 75% of the cases of people with dementia.

It is a disease that mainly affects people over the age of 65 and is initially difficult to diagnose due to its association with age-related complaints and depressive symptoms. (source: order of nurses)

It is characterised by a severe progressive deterioration of cognitive functioning, with repercussions on the individual's social, professional and family life and behaviour. The memory changes, language, mood, personality, basic and instrumental activities of daily living, social interaction,  to which answers need to be found.

It's important to remind both health professionals and the general community that dementia is not an inevitable consequence of normal ageing and that the appearance of warning signs should not be ignored!

10 warning signs:

  • Memory loss;
  • Difficulty performing tasks of daily living;
  • Language problems;
  • Disorientation in space and time;
  • Difficulty with abstract concepts;
  • Mood and personality changes;
  • Difficulty understanding visual information and spatial relationships;
  • Poor or diminished judgement;
  • Change the place of things;
  • Dismissal from work and social life;

Timely and early diagnosis of dementia is fundamental to preparing for the future, as it gives people living with the disease the ability to make decisions in a way that respects their wishes and preserves their dignity.

In the presence of warning signs, people and/or family members should seek help from their family doctor or neurology, psychiatry or geriatrics doctor.

On this day, it matters:

  • Tick the significant number of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. It is estimated that, in Portugal, there are 150,000 people with dementia and 35 million worldwide;
  • Raising awareness in society to this serious problem and the need for responses capable of maintaining the dignity, comfort and well-being of people with Alzheimer's disease;
  • Raising awareness of the importance of early diagnosis;
  • Sensitise the scientific community to continue investing in "tools" that facilitate diagnosis and in treatment modalities capable of mitigating the repercussions of the disease;
  • To raise awareness of the need to implement programmes of cognitive and functional stimulation in early stages, with the aim of delaying the onset of certain symptoms, reducing their severity and increase the number of years with greater autonomy and functionality;
  • Emphasise the need to creation of a specific national plan for people with dementia and, in this case, for people with Alzheimer's disease, which includes the basic conditions of the institutionstraining specific to health professionals, the intervention guidelines (standards of good practice / quality standards) and describe the rights / duties of patients and relatives;
  • To be found at tribute to all carers who heroically care for people with Alzheimer's disease;
  • Sensitise the general public to the importance of promoting active ageingwith stimulating cognition and adopting healthy lifestylesAs a preventive strategy and a "way of choice" to mitigate the impact of Alzheimer's disease on individuals, families, society and the community.

(source: order of nurses)

Author: Knower™ Care Center