Improving the lives of those affected by dementia

For Dementia Action Week we bring you our top picks on dementia.

This year, Dementia Action Week (previously known as Dementia Awareness Week) aims to encourage us to communicate with those living with dementia, two-thirds of whom report isolation and loneliness.

Dementia is a set of cognitive symptoms affecting memory, attention, planning, language, visuospatial skills and orientation, mainly in those over 65. Dementia is caused by neural diseases, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Psychology has an important role to play in understanding, diagnosing, and treating dementia. Psychology also has a role to play in supporting those who have a loved one with dementia. There is no cure for dementia but there are steps that can be taken to support individuals, including counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy. Drugs may reduce the symptoms of dementia. 

Read about psychology and dementia in our articles listed below, and check out our collection of top content from further afield.

From The Psychologist

Improving the experience of dementia
We spoke to Linda Clare to mark Dementia Awareness Week back in 2016…

‘Living well with dementia has become a key focus of policy’
… And in 2017, Linda Clare spoke to us again, about how to live well with dementia.

Giving a voice to people with advanced dementia
Amanda Henwood and Maggie Ellis on ‘Adaptive Interaction’, a mirroring technique to aid communication in advanced dementia.

‘The self is not entirely lost in dementia’, argues new review
Christian Jarrett, editor of our Research Digest, on how losing memory does not mean losing the self.

Active body, healthy mind
Jadwiga Nazimek on whether exercise can delay – or even prevent – dementia.

Involuntary autobiographical memories
Rosemary J. Bradley, Chris J.A. Moulin and Lia Kvavilashvili with some surprising findings and implications, including the resistance of involuntary memories to those with dementia.

Story-listening shows promise as an intervention for people living with dementia
Emma Young, Research Digest writer, on whether daily narrative training can delay cognitive decline.

Contrary to media hype, new review says learning a second language won’t protect you from dementia
Alex Fradera, Research Digest writer, on whether bi- and multilingualism protects against dementia.

Elsewhere

A lonely future: 120,000 people with dementia living alone, set to double in the next 20 years
The Alzheimer’s Society on their #AskUsAnything campaign to encourage inclusion of those affected by dementia.

The deviousness of dementia
Dasha Kiper for The Guardian on the impact of dementia on caregivers.

Extreme love: Dementia
Louis Theroux’s documentary film set in Phoenix, Arizona – the capital of dementia care, on BBC iPlayer. 

The Alzheimer’s enigma
Michael Regnier for Mosaic Science searches for the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

The greatest health challenge of our time
James Gallagher for the BBC on the global growth of dementia and the gaps in our scientific understanding.

Psychological Dimensions of Dementia
The British Psychological Society’s Dementia Advisory Group on the contributions of psychologists to experiences of dementia, and recommendations for improving understanding and care.

Poet Ian McMillan, cartoonist Tony Husband and photographer Ian Beesley have worked with people with dementia and their carers to create the banner at the top. Members of Age UK Exeter's Budding Friends group, who regularly meet to tend an allotment, unfurled the banner at an event in April.

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