May is the month of the Alzheimer’s Society’s annual Dementia Awareness Week (14-20 May).
The week asks people to unite against dementia by raising awareness and offering help and understanding to those coping with the condition.
Every three minutes someone in the UK develops dementia – the equivalent of 225,000 people a year.
Dementia is a difficult and challenging illness for those suffering and their carers. Caring for someone with dementia is physically and mentally exhausting – in many instances carers are not only responsible for the physical wellbeing of a patient, but also their financial welfare.
For the last four years, we have been working hard to address the growing issue of companies taking away consumers’ rights to receive their financial information in the format that is easiest for them – be it text, paper, email or a mixture of all three. We have heard organisations pushing people to receive electronic communication, often without their consent and sometimes even without their knowledge. People suffering with dementia can struggle to remember the passwords, email addresses and pin codes needed to access online accounts. If a person receives paper statements, a carer can easily give financial guidance and provide support, enabling a sufferer to maintain their independence for longer.
We will continue our fight to ensure that consumers’ rights are honoured by companies and we ask your readers to do the same this Dementia Awareness Week. If we let organisations continue to overlook our wishes, it may be too late to get back what we have lost.
Judith Donovan CBE,
Chair of the Keep Me Posted campaign