A charity is urging Scots to take action and ‘challenge dementia’ as it launches its biggest campaign ever .
Alzheimer Scotland wants to raise vital funds as well as awareness of the condition, which affects more than 90,000 people in Scotland.
Supporters including Scots actress Barabara Rafferty are now signing up to Challenge Dementia – but they need more to join.
She said: “My Mother has lived with dementia for the past 16 years, so I really want to help make a difference and help raise as much awareness about the illness and of the challenges faced everyday by families across Scotland.
“I am delighted to support Alzheimer Scotland’s Challenge Dementia campaign as it will help raise vital funds to ensure the charity can continue to provide support services and initiatives for those living with dementia now and in the future.”
Figures show around 76% of Scots know someone who has the illness themselves or cares for someone with dementia, yet the stigma around it continues to exist, which can leave partners and families feeling isolated.
Professor Craig Ritchie from the Centre of Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, also urges the nation to support the campaign.
He said: “We have to all believe that we can prevent dementia; this is the critical first step that will help drive the scientific discovery and the onward spread of information to the public and policy makers.”
The charity hopes individuals – or groups of family, friends and workmates – will sign up to a challenge of their choice.
They might test their physical fitness with runs, cycles, swimming and abseils, or keep the brain active by holding quiz nights or cooking challenges with work colleagues.
A short film has been produced featuring Barbara Rafferty along with Scottish sports broadcaster, Alison Walker.
You can see it at challengedementiascotland.org.
The funds raised will support Alzheimer Scotland’s ambitious plans to increase support across Scottish communities for everyone with a dementia diagnosis.