Government launches £3.2m dementia awareness drive

The Government is launching a fresh £3.2m drive to encourage people to be more open about discussing dementia in a bid to increase early diagnosis rates.

alzheimers society

The three-month A Day to Remember campaign is running in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society. It launches today (21 September) on World Alzheimer’s Day.

Television ads encouraging people to check for symptoms of the condition will be supported by press activity that will call on children that suspect their parents are suffering from dementia to discuss the subject with them.

An online film featuring Michael Parkinson, Fiona Phillips and Gordon Banks talking about their experiences of living with family members suffering from dementia will support the TV and press campaign.

The Department of Health is hoping to surpass the results of the awareness raising activity that ran in March when Prime Minister David Cameron launched his challenge on dementia to change people’s understanding of the condition. The number of people visiting their GP to discuss early signs of dementia has increased by 23% since ads ran, while there has been a 23% increase in referrals to specialist clinics.

The A Day to Remember campaign launches as research commissioned by the DoH finds 50 per cent of the UK public say they would find it hard to talk about dementia to a friend or family member they thought might have it. A third say fear of upsetting someone or feeling awkward would discourage them from talking about dementia.

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