A DRIVE is underway to raise awareness of the increasing scale of dementia and the isolation it causes for sufferers

Each year, 6,000 more people with dementia are predicted to be living by themselves in towns and cities across the UK, according to leading dementia charity Alzheimer’s Society.

The figures were released to mark the launch of the charity’s #AskUsAnything campaign, which runs throughout Dementia Action Week - May 20 to May 26.

The campaign aims to end the awkwardness and create a more inclusive society for people affected by dementia.

A new YouGov poll revealed that 42% of people in the North West are unaware of the scale of the problem.

Even with this underestimation, around eight-in-ten - 81% - in our region feel society is unprepared for the growing number of people with dementia.

The prevalence of isolation and loneliness experienced by people with dementia could partly be explained by long-standing feelings of awkwardness and nervousness among the public.

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Week aims to break down these barriers and start conversations across the UK, so people with dementia are included in society.

As part of the campaign, the charity created a film of children asking people affected by dementia thought-provoking and funny questions, as a way of busting myths and showing that people with dementia are still the same people.

Using the hashtag #AskUsAnything, readers are urged to share the film and start talking to people with dementia and about dementia. 

The film will appear on Alzheimer’s Society’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as in cinemas across the UK. 

Supporting the film, events are also taking place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to raise awareness of dementia and provide answers to questions people don’t feel comfortable asking.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The frightening isolation of so many people with dementia is a wake up call for all of us.

"Reaching out and starting conversations can make a big difference, so people with dementia feel much more included in society. "Misconceptions and feelings of awkwardness around saying the wrong thing are prevalent.

"We can change that by talking more about dementia and taking time to talk to people with dementia."

“Dementia isn’t going away – two fifths of us know someone with dementia and two million people will be living with it by 2051.

Find tips on how to start a conversation with someone living with dementia at alzheimers.org.uk/DAW