Dementia awareness has come a long way in the last few years and we’re seeing an increasing number of people coming to us asking what they can do to help.
I’d like to let you know about two opportunities which won’t use up a lot of your time, but which could make a real difference to the 8000 people in Northamptonshire who are living with dementia.
The first is GameChanger, which Alzheimer’s Society has recently launched alongside the University of Oxford. This aims to advance dementia research through the use of technology.
The GameChanger research team has developed a smartphone ‘app’. It contains a collection of memory and thinking games that test specific parts of the brain. It is these parts of memory and thinking that are thought to be affected during the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Before we can spot the early signs of dementia, we need to understand the healthy brain. That’s where GameChanger can help.
In the short term, we need as many people as possible to download the app and play the games. From the data, dementia researchers can see what average performance is like. This will eventually help them see the early changes in the brains of people with dementia, and develop new treatments.
We need people who do not have dementia to play free games on their smartphone for five minutes a day for one month.
You can sign up at www.joingamechanger.org
Another opportunity to get involved is Elf Day, which is our fabulous festive fundraiser designed to get you in the Christmas spirit whilst raising money.
We’re asking businesses, schools and other organisations in Northampton to sign up and raise money on December 7th to help tackle the biggest health challenge we face today.
You can keep it simple with red and green, or jingle all the way with pointy ears and curly shoes. If fancy dress isn’t your thing, why not express yoursELF by baking frosted goodies or playing festive games instead?
Sign up at www.alzheimers.org.uk/elf-day
Helen Crawford, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager for Northamptonshire