While we do not have the disease, our own lives can become overshadowed and change. We may lose part of ourselves (hopes, aspirations, freedom, love and support) and a level of being care-free: without having to worry, without having to care for another.
If you haven't been personally touched by dementia you may be wondering why it deserves this platform. Why aren't other diseases afforded the same global attention you may ask? But that's just it, they have been.
Why are some products more successful and appealing than others? Which product features and design aspects influence the way we feel about products? And how can we leverage accumulating insights from behavioural science to improve product offerings?
Today there are 800 million people aged 60 and over, all with an increased life expectancy, so, it shouldn't come as a shock to learn that soon there will be more older people on the planet than any other age group. Hence why understanding and improving the mental health of this generation is of significant importance to all of us.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is not easy. I've had countless interaction and conversations with carers over the years. At times, it can be challenging, tiring and upsetting. They carry out difficult and demanding roles, often with minimal training or preparation.
A friend of mine in Australia, Kate Swaffer, who is living with early-onset/young-onset dementia calls it 'paddling'. Trying to keep up with the demands of daily living and contribute to social interaction is, for Kate, about constantly paddling
Welcome to a dementia friendly community. You may well be thinking, "How does this benefit me? I don't have dementia, I don't know anyone with dementia, why do I need to contribute to living in a dementia friendly community?" Stop right there, because dementia friendly communities benefit everyone.
It is no secret that dementia is one of the most pressing challenges the UK is facing. Currently there are 670,000 people diagnosed with the condition in this country alone, and this number is set to double over the next 30 years. However dementia is far from a uniquely British problem - it is a world-wide challenge. Similar problems and pressures being played out across the world for families, patients and governments as they work hard to respond to the sometimes significant demands of this growing condition.
Not only does regular brushing help keep your teeth and gums healthy, it may also hold some protection against a number of chronic disease, with the latest research pointing the toothbrush at Alzheimer's disease.
Trusts around the country are beginning to see the advantages of engaging their staff with social media, and it's time for all of us to provide the support. How do we get more nurses online, collaborating safely and effectively? How do we get the most out of social media for patients?
When we lose our memory through old age or dementia, we are no longer able to access the stories of our life, the experiences that shaped us. At this point, the music that helped to define us once again becomes one of the most important things - indeed perhaps, the most important thing we have.
For the last three years Japan has been holding workshops to learn about how best to support people with dementia. It's their part of the version of England's 'Dementia Friends' programme where information sessions help everyone be understanding to those with dementia living alongside them. In Japan over 4million people have attended these sessions over the last eight years.
Having a conversation may not seem like a luxury, but there is a point when it can become too late to talk, and you just never know if or when that point may come. I would hazard a guess that the vast majority never had a full and frank discussion with their loved ones about dementia, their wishes for care and their future planning.
Like so many sufferers, Joan and Gracie are both under 24-hour care after endangering their lives and putting their families through agonizing worry. From leaving taps running and stove fire burning to wandering to the shops wearing pyjamas and sitting at the bus stop at midnight waiting hours on end for the bus.
When we think about our wellbeing, we think of avoiding major diseases, being financially comfortable, enjoying our daily lives and achieving our goals. Often we never stop to consider those invisible yet vital qualities of support, understanding and love that are provided by the people we keep close to us.
In all the coverage following Margaret Thatcher's death, very few headlines have been made by the fact that she had dementia. Many refer to her 'failing health' and 'deterioration', and report the stroke that caused her passing, but it seems that mentioning the word dementia when you are talking about a former prime minister is rather taboo.