Removing Misconceptions about Dementia

Many people have misconceptions about dementia.  They’re unsure how to approach those with the condition and generally lack understanding. Laura, one of our colleagues talks about her thoughts and experiences. 

“I have to be honest and say when it came to dementia, I was clueless. I had never really come across anyone suffering from it, until my husband’s uncle sadly passed away last summer. Whilst he did not suffer from dementia many of the symptoms he had were similar.

“Malcom was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy (MSA) around 6 years ago, so you’d think I would have come to understand the illness, but no I hadn’t. I well and truly buried my head in the sand. Selfishly I didn’t want to know, because it scared me.

“It wasn’t until Malcom was hospitalised that it hit me how poorly he was and how little I knew.

“Fast forward six months later, listening to colleagues who had been to a dementia awareness session, I decided I wanted to know more. So I did what most people do when looking for information – Googled.

“I was staggered at how many people in the UK, dementia now affects. Bombarded with a plethora of facts and figures, I thought it would be easier to digest if I spoke to Sheila in our Branch Support Team.

Sheila delivers dementia awareness sessions at Newcastle Building Society. After chatting with Sheila, I realised I wasn’t the only one with the old head in the sand approach.

So, for any of you out there who might not know a great deal about dementia or where to turn to learn more Sheila kindly answered a few questions I put to her in my quest for knowledge that just might help;

Why are we doing this?

“Dementia Friends in a social action movement developed by the Alzheimer’s society. They have produced the awareness course with a view to people becoming a Dementia Friend.

If you haven’t already done so at some point in your life you will come across someone with dementia, it’s really important to have a good understanding so you can offer them the help they need. For this reason the Society has decided that ALL staff working here will attend a session, we want to offer the very best support to our customers.”

What’s the main misconception?

“Most people think dementia is just about losing your memory but it can impact people in lots of different ways.

It doesn’t have to be the end of everything, with good support, it is possible to live well with dementia.”

What’s next for our dementia awareness sessions?

“We are now making these sessions available to everyone. You don’t have to work for the Society or be one of our customers.  We’d love as many people as possible to become a Dementia Friend.

The session just lasts for 45 mins to an hour and we’ve had some really great feedback from people who’ve been along. It delivers the message in an interactive and easy to understand way.”

Are there any resources you’d recommend for those wanting to learn about dementia?

 …….Look on our website to find out more about our sessions…..


Of course you can visit the Dementia Friends website too.