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Major campaign targets people worried about their memory

Published 20 August 2010

Alzheimer’s Society have re-launched a campaign encouraging people who are worried about their memory to get help as soon as possible.

The campaign stresses the importance of seeking help if they are worried about their own memory or that of someone close to them. Currently only a third of people with dementia ever receive a formal diagnosis. Research shows that many people concerned about memory problems put off going to see their GP. The campaign will involve leaflets and posters being sent to 10,000 GP surgeries across England , Wales and Northern Ireland .

Ruth Sutherland, Acting Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society, says,

'We want people to know that everyone gets a little forgetful from time to time, but when memory loss starts to interfere with daily life it is important to get it checked out as soon as possible. Memory loss can be a symptom of dementia, along with confusion and mood changes. The sooner people seek help the sooner they can start living their lives to the full.'

The initiative, called Worried about your memory? follows a successful campaign in 2009 which reached 80,000 people after leaflets were delivered to GPs across the country. Of the people who requested further information, one in five went on to get a diagnosis.

The new materials have been re-designed and encourage people to seek help without delay if they have concerns. To support the leaflet campaign in GP surgeries, Alzheimer's Society will be targeting those most at risk of dementia, such as people with high blood pressure, cholesterol or who have had a stroke.

Ruth Sutherland adds,

'This campaign is designed to improve the shockingly low diagnosis rates of dementia in the UK . Alzheimer's Society is on hand to support anyone going through this worrying time and can offer support through our services across the country, which include a national helpline.'

-Ends-

Notes to editors:

  • The Worried about your memory? campaign has been developed by Alzheimer's Society and has been produced in partnership with Eli Lilly and Company Limited. Lilly is dedicated to creating and delivering innovative pharmaceutical health care solutions that enable people to live longer, healthier and more active lives.
  • To find out more about dementia visit alzheimers.org.uk/memoryworry
  • Dementia is not a single illness but a group of symptoms caused by damage to the brain. The symptoms include loss of memory, mood changes and confusion.
  • Dementia affects everyone in different ways, but you should seek help without delay if your memory is not as good as it used to be and especially if you:
  • struggle to remember recent events, although you can easily recall things that happened in the past
  • find it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV
  • forget the names of friends or everyday objects
  • cannot recall things you have heard, seen or read
  • notice that you repeat yourself or lose the thread of what you are saying
  • have problems thinking and reasoning
  • feel anxious, depressed or angry about your forgetfulness
  • find that other people start to comment on your forgetfulness
  • feel confused even when in a familiar environment.
  • One in three people over 65 will die with dementia.
  • Alzheimer's Society research shows that 750,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer's disease. In just 15 years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051.
  • Alzheimer's Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them.
  • Alzheimer's Society works in England , Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Alzheimer's Society supports people to live well with dementia today and funds research to find a cure for tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk
  • Alzheimer's Society provides a National Dementia Helpline, the number is 0845 300 0336 or visit alzheimers.org.uk