21 September 2020
World Alzheimer’s Day is an international campaign to raise awareness about dementia and to challenge the stigma that is associated with it. The theme for this year’s World Alzheimer’s Day campaign is “Let’s talk about dementia” which is similar to the theme of 2019. This theme aims to encourage openness and discussion about dementia to plan well and to access support.
What is dementia?
Dementia is a collective term for a particular group of symptoms. The characteristic symptoms of dementia are difficulties with memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking skills that significantly affect a person’s daily life activities. Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2015 dementia affected 47 million people worldwide (or roughly 5% of the world’s elderly population) and it is predicted to increase to 75 million in 2030 and 132 million by 2050.
COVID-19 and dementia
This year, everybody is facing the effects of unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. People with dementia are more vulnerable to this situation because of social isolation and poor access to health systems for routine services and support. Fear and stigma can further aggravate their condition. Through talking, people can seek more information, support and advice during COVID-19 pandemic.
Prevention of dementia, or delaying the onset of symptoms is possible in some people. Below are some important ways to reduce the risk of developing dementia:
1. Look after your heart: Prevent/ control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity and avoid smoking. Opt for healthy lifestyle choices.
2 Be physically active: Physical activity and exercise are powerful preventive measures to reduce the risk of developing dementia.
3. Follow a healthy diet: Healthy diet helps to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases (such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity).
4. Challenge your brain: Learning the new activities helps build new brain neurons and strengthens the connections between them.
5. Enjoy social activities: Increased social activities have been associated with a decreased risk of dementia.
Dementia can be prevented. But for those with dementia, the goal should be to provide the best possible care putting the needs of the patient and family first.
Know more about Alzheimer’s disease
Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017 – 2025 accessed from