The social and economic costs of dementia are enormous, more than the costs of stroke, heart disease and cancer combined. Yet as a society we spend billions on research in these areas and comparatively little on dementia. Why is that? Is it because we feel helpless in the face of this insidious disease? We used to feel that way about HIV/Aids but through education, research and public discussion great advances in understanding the disease and treatment options have been made. We need to have that same discussion about dementia.
One project that is the right step in that direction is the I CAN! I WILL! project undertaken by Laura Bramley and Richard Taylor with the help of Alzheimer’s Disease International. The I CAN! I WILL! project will be a website that is a library of ideas to help people around the world stand up and speak out about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. These ideas, which will raise awareness about dementia and help to erase the stigma, have been contributed by people just like you—people with dementia, care partners, medical professionals, volunteers and advocates—so that you can learn from their experiences and they can learn from you.
You are invited to send in your ideas, letters and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the website when it goes live later in July.