One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia - but a new survey shows that less than half of people in Wales have a good understanding of the condition.
Now the charity Alzheimer's Society is launching a scheme in Wales to encourage people to become 'Dementia Friends' in a bid to raise awareness.
The programme aims to help change the way people think, talk and act about dementia.
A YouGov survey commissioned by Alzheimer's Society found that less than half (46%) of people in Wales feel they have a good understanding of dementia.
Dementia - what is it?
- The word 'dementia' describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss, and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language
- It is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, or a series of strokes
- There are 100 different types of dementia, with Alzheimer's the most common
- All types of dementia are progressive - meaning that the structure and chemistry of the brain are increasingly damaged over time - and the person's ability to remember, understand, communicate and reason gradually decline
- How quickly dementia progresses depends on the individual - everyone experiences it differently
Dementia - the stats:
- Over 45,500 people are estimated to be living with dementia in Wales
- One in three people over 65 will develop dementia
- 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia - more than half have Alzheimer's disease
- In less than ten years, it is predicted that a million people in the UK will have dementia
- By 2051, it is predicted that 1.7 million people in the UK will have dementia
What is the 'Dementia Friends' programme?
Alzheimer's Society wants 'Dementia Friends' to learn a little bit more about what it is like to live with dementia - and then turn that understanding into action.
That could mean anything from helping someone find the right bus - to spreading the word about dementia on social media.
As the brain gradually shuts down, people with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community.
This is what Dementia Friends aims to provide.
For more help and information:
Alzheimer's Society has a National Dementia Helpline - the number is 0300 222 11 22