Understanding Dementia

Thu 29th October 2015

The Rangers Charity Foundation is working with Alzheimer Scotland this season to raise £25,000 towards vital dementia services, including the Dementia Helpline, Football Memories Project and Dementia Friends campaign.  The Foundation is also aiming to help the charity spread important messages about dementia in a bid to create more dementia friendly communities.

Many Rangers supporters will have experienced dementia in their lives, whether they are living with the illness themselves or maybe a family member or friend has dementia. More often than not, when dementia is diagnosed, there is a period of worry and confusion.

We’ve teamed up with Kevin Black, one of Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Advisors, to understand a little about what dementia is and how Scotland’s leading dementia charity is supporting communities right across Scotland.  If you’re not sure of the facts about dementia, read on and find out more.


What is dementia?

Kevin says: “Dementia is a general term describing a set of symptoms which can include memory loss, confusion and problems with communication and reasoning. Dementia can also cause behaviour and personality changes, which can be particularly distressing for family members and carers.

“Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by disease. You are most likely to have heard of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. But there are many more forms of dementia.

“Although there are common symptoms, everyone experiences dementia differently, depending on the type of dementia they have and the area of the brain affected by the disease. 

“Dementia is progressive, which means that a person’s symptoms will worsen over time until, eventually, they will need help with basic activities like eating, dressing and personal care.

“There are over 90,000 people in Scotland living with dementia and the number is set to double in a generation. It is the biggest public health challenge faced by our society today and it is estimated that around 76% of Scots know someone who is affected by the condition.

“Dementia can be a frightening, confusing and complicated journey. However, with the right level of care and support, it is possible to live well with the condition in the community. We are passionate that nobody should face dementia alone.

“If anyone has any questions regarding dementia, they can call our national freephone Dementia Helpline today on 0808 808 3000 or visit our website for further information at”

Dementia: Key Facts

1. Dementia is not a natural part of getting older. 
2. Dementia is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain. 
3. There are over 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland. It is most common in older people, but can affect people in their 40s or 50s or even younger. Approximately 3,200 people with dementia in Scotland are under 65. 
4. Around 7,000 people in Scotland will develop dementia every year. 
5. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. 
6. Unfortunately dementia is a terminal condition and there is currently no known cure. 

About Alzheimer Scotland

Every day Alzheimer Scotland provides essential support to people living with dementia in Scotland.  This is how the charity makes a difference to people across Scotland – 
• Every year, 675,000 hours of support are delivered by frontline staff. 
• Over 60 link workers help people after a dementia diagnosis to come to terms with their diagnosis, manage their symptoms and plan for the future. 
• 1,700 staff and volunteers work to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers. 
• Over 20,000 people have received support from 32 Dementia Advisors since 2010. 
• More than 14,000 people have become Dementia Friends, raising greater awareness and understanding of dementia and how it affects people living with the condition. 
24/7 Dementia Helpline 0808 808 3000

• Up to 5,000 calls and emails are made or sent to Alzheimer Scotland’s confidential 24 hour Dementia Helpline every year. 
• 38% of callers contact the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Helpline in the evening, overnight or at weekends. 
Places and Projects

• There are over 200 Alzheimer Scotland groups and projects running all year round for people with dementia and their carers, including dementia cafes, football and other sporting reminiscence sessions, art and music therapy and peer support groups. 
• Alzheimer Scotland operates 48 local centres across Scotland where people with dementia, their partners and family members can meet in welcoming dementia friendly environments. 

You can find out more about the Foundation’s partnership with Alzheimer Scotland here or visit the Alzheimer Scotland website here.  To see Alzheimer Scotland’s booklet ‘5 Things You Should Know About Dementia’ click here.

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