September is World Alzheimer’s Month. With the theme, ‘Dementia: Can we reduce the risk?', this year’s campaign focuses on ways we may be able to help reduce our risk of developing dementia with brain healthy lifestyles. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, there are currently estimated to be 44 million people worldwide living with dementia. The number of people affected is set to rise to over 135 million by 2050. Nurses have a central role to play in raising public awareness and recognition of dementia throughout the world. They can promote the importance of assessment and early diagnosis; the need for inclusive community support services and accommodation options; and the value of education and training for formal and informal caregivers. They can encourage and support caregiver self-help groups and multidisciplinary collaboration in dementia-oriented practice and research, and they can advocate for the protection of patients’ rights and interests.
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