One of the driving forces behind the creation of Thenadays is that nostalgia for the past has been shown to boost empathy and social connectedness, as well as provide a powerful antidote for loneliness and alienation. This has led to several nostalgia-based therapies for illnesses which include clinical depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
May saw Dementia Awareness Week in the UK and this month (September) marks the fifth global World Alzheimer’s Month.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of severe symptoms caused by progressive degenerative diseases of the brain (such as Alzheimer’s Disease). Involving a progressive decline of cognitive functions, the symptoms include memory loss, communication problems and changes in mood.
It’s a disheartening and frustrating condition – it compromises the sufferer’s identity and independence and causes social isolation, threatening their ability to find meaning and purpose in life. The theme for this year – for both events – is 'Remember The Person' – encouraging people to not only spot the signs of dementia and also to think of loved ones living with the disease – to remember that hidden within the dementia is still the person they used to be.
Dementia steals memories - anyone who is worried about dementia and wants more information and assistance can get in touch with Alzheimer's Society - www.alzheimers.org.uk or Alzheimer’s Disease International www.alz.co.uk.