World Alzheimer’s Month Addresses Stigma Associated with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

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Home Instead Senior Care Offers Tips on How to Build A “Dementia-Friendly” World

A new report released by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) found someone in the world develops dementia every three seconds, with more than 50 million people living with dementia globally. Despite the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and dementia in our society, those affected frequently find themselves tainted by the stigmas associated with the disease.

According to research conducted by ADI, 43% of survey respondents living with dementia report being avoided or shunned by those around them, while 57% of survey respondents feel they are treated unfairly and have difficulty making or keeping friends. Two-thirds of respondents also said others even joked about their dementia symptoms.

“Social isolation and loneliness is common among those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. But surprisingly, most of the time it is the stigma, and not the symptoms of the disease, that leads others to distance themselves from those living with the diagnosis,” said Lakelyn Hogan, Gerontologist and Caregiver Advocate at Home Instead Senior Care. “When we all make a concerted effort to eliminate the stigma associated with these diseases, we can drastically improve the quality of life for those affected.”

The negative impact of the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is not just limited to the more than 50 million people across the globe living with the disease, but it also extends to those providing care, particularly their loved ones. Home Instead recommends exploring at least one of the following ways to help make the world a more dementia-friendly place:

  • Define the stigma. The first step to eliminating a stigma is identifying our own belief and revising it. Find ways to shift personal perspectives about those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Reach out to a friend or family member to show your support. For more information, review common attitudes toward dementia at
  • Educate yourself. Whether a family member, professional caregiver or compassionate person looking to make a difference, we all have something to learn when it comes to understanding the role Alzheimer’s and dementia can play in the lives of older adults. Visit to participate in free e-learning courses and interactive webinars.
  • Choose to include, not exclude. Identify areas where you can advocate for change by accommodating the needs of someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you don’t know anyone living with the disease personally, you can find a local senior-serving organization to volunteer with on
  • Become an Alzheimer’s Friendly Business. If you are a business owner, consider participating in a free, 30-minute Alzheimer’s Friendly Business online training, offered by Home Instead Senior Care, to help reduce common misconceptions and encourage positive experiences for all.

While we all may not experience Alzheimer’s and dementia in our lives, we do have the ability to create a world where those impacted can feel more accepted and understood. Visit for more resources to better understand the role you could play in breaking down stigmas and building a dementia-friendly community.


Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 80 million hours of care annually throughout the United States and 11 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 90,000 CAREGivers worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources.

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Dan Wieberg
Home Instead Senior Care
+1 (402) 575-5970
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