Most people are living unfulfilled lives, suggests a survey carried out by Alzheimer’s Society to mark Dementia Awareness Week (17th – 23rd May).
Over half of the British public (57 per cent) say they want to try out new activities or hobbies. However, less than a third have done so in the last year – citing lack of confidence, laziness and lack of time as the main reasons holding them back.
Seeing the Northern Lights, going on safari and swimming with dolphins were selected from a list as the top three experiences people would like to try in their lifetime.
This Dementia Awareness Week, Alzheimer’s Society is highlighting that life doesn’t have to end because dementia begins and is encouraging people to do something new.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society says:
‘Taking part in new activities is important for everyone. It helps build confidence, enhance emotional wellbeing and creates positive memories. As dementia progresses, a person’s ability to do challenging, new activities reduces but they still experience joy and pleasure – like anyone else.
‘Even the simplest things can help people with dementia feel connected to the world and the people who matter most. While they may not remember the details, the positive emotions remain. That’s why Alzheimer’s Society works tirelessly to help those affected by dementia stay connected through our services and support.’
‘After my mother’s diagnosis, I was determined to help her have the best quality of life and asked her to make a list of things she still wanted to do or experience. To my surprise, mum said she had always wanted to go on a safari.
‘People told us that there was no point taking her on a safari trip because she wouldn’t remember. That’s not the point. People with dementia can still experience enjoyment in life.
‘From the moment we arrived in Kenya we noticed a change in mum’s behaviour and her character blossomed. It gave us so much pleasure seeing her enjoy the trip and we were overwhelmed with the impact the safari adventure had on her.’
Alzheimer’s Society provides a range of services to support people living with dementia. Call the national helpline on 0300 222 1122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Alzheimer’s Society visit www.alzheimers.org.uk.
To join in and highlight Dementia Awareness Week 2015, try something new and post about it on social media using the hashtags #DoSomethingNew and #DAW2015.