September is recognised around the world as Alzheimer’s Month which culminates on World Alzheimer’s Day on the 21st. This year the theme of Alzheimer’s Month is ‘Let’s talk about Dementia’. The aim of the awareness month is to challenge the stigma that surrounds Dementia and to raise awareness of how it impacts on the daily lives of those affected by the condition.
Nearly 50 million people live with Dementia worldwide and it is estimated that that number will double almost every 20 years. While a Dementia diagnosis can lead to distress and feelings of loneliness, those who care for a loved one with Dementia can also feel isolated. This is why it’s really important to shed some light on the issue and encourage conversations about Dementia in order to understand the issue from all perspectives.
The Healthcare Management Trust (HMT), which Sancta Maria Hospital is a part of, has a strong track record of supporting research projects in the field of Dementia. As a not for profit, charitable trust, HMT uses its annual financial surplus to fund a range of PhD grants and research projects that aim to improve the quality of life for Dementia sufferers and their families. To date HMT has made grants totalling £1.5m.
On a more local level, HMT Sancta Maria Hospital has supported the Musical Memories Choir for the last four years. The choir, which is for people living with Dementia and their carers, meets weekly and is a chance for those affected by the condition to socialise, sing and receive support from each other. The choir is currently meeting remotely during the pandemic but will resume physical sessions when it is safe to do so. HMT is proud to support the choir which is run by the team at the Red Café in Mumbles.
You can get involved in World Alzheimer’s Month by becoming a Dementia Friend through the Alzheimer’s Society. This initiative encourages people to learn more about Dementia so that they can help in their local community. This could involve volunteering, campaigning or visiting someone you might know with Dementia.
More information can be found here.