Making dementia impossible to ignore with our new brand

Vivienne Francis, ‎Director of Marketing and External Affairs, introduces our powerful new brand and discusses what it will help Alzheimer's Society to do for people affected by dementia.

United Against Dementia

I wish most of all for a society, with a big S, which does not still see dementia as a condition to be hidden away and stigmatised, but can accept the openness of someone who says, "Yes, I have dementia and I'm OK".

This quote from one of our ardent supporters, Shelagh, who is living with dementia, exemplifies one of the core reasons why we have decided to rebrand. Shelagh, like 850,000 other people, is living with dementia. Her desire for a fairer society for those affected – one where the condition is not concealed – highlights the need to ‘turn up the volume’ on dementia.

Dementia is the biggest health challenge facing society today, but it doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserves. We needed a brand that will make dementia impossible to ignore, and which matched our mission: to change the landscape of dementia forever.

The brand underpins our new strategic ambitions to: reach every person who has a diagnosis and wants our help; change the conversation on dementia and mainstream the rights of those affected by it; and drive the research agenda – working tirelessly to improve support today and unlock the answers for a cure tomorrow.

Our previous brand achieved so much, and was well-respected, but people told us it was a bit passive, impersonal and cold. It wasn’t standing out and grabbing people’s attention. And that means we weren’t reaching everyone affected by dementia, and weren’t attracting the support we need to really make a difference.

It also didn’t reflect many of the people affected by dementia today. As Shelagh also said: ‘Dementia often begins to show itself in the 70s. Think of what that means historically. We are the children of the 60s who listened to and loved the Beatles, The Rolling Stones. And when our children became teenagers we were exposed to The Clash, the Sex Pistols and T Rex. Is this reflected in the way we look at people with dementia?’

We needed a brand identity that was imbued with this sense of change and coming together that has been experienced by many of those living with dementia today.

Forget me not

Forget me not

We involved people affected by dementia throughout the process of developing of the new brand to make sure that we created something that was accessible and that resonated with them. This included referring to all available research on accessibility and dementia-friendly design.

One thing that came across loud and clear, in both our conversations with people affected by dementia and our research among supporters and members of the public, was the need for a tangible and meaningful icon that could be used to demonstrate their support for our cause and their solidarity with people affected by it. The forget-me-not flower – long-associated with dementia – was the natural and popular choice.

Our stylised forget-me-not and other elements of our visual identity, like the vibrant colour palette, reference graffiti, ‘Pop Art’ and grass-roots change, expressing the need to be bolder and disrupt the status quo.

Our new strapline – united against dementia – communicates that we all have a role to play in beating dementia once and for all. We are committed to driving forward the growing movement for change which has already seen over 1.8 million people become Dementia Friends and over 200 communities working to become dementia friendly.

Take on dementia

We are proud of our new brand and the potential it has to bring dementia out of the shadows and change the conversation from hopelessness and apathy to hope and action. From fundraising to volunteering to campaigning for better standards of care, we can all play a part.

We hope that you will unite with us against dementia to make it impossible to ignore.

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I started working for the Society in 1993 when the logo was a despairing carer encased in a black triangle with her head in her hands. It gave a message of despair, hopelessness and suffering. By the time I left in 2007, things had moved on dramatically and the brand had changed a number of times to the one that most know today. I love the new brand. I think it looks fresh, vibrant and will help position the Society well as it continues its marvellous work. Well done! 🙂

It's good to see such vaste improvements over time in order to promote this devasting illness.

My name is Margaret gosling I am a full time carer for my mom who as vascular dementia she as been with me for 2 years and things change daily we never have 2 days the same she was diagnosed 4 years ago but in 2015 she had a nasty fall down my brothers steps which was very nasty ripping he scalp from her head ending up with plastic surgery and enhancing the dementia I love caring for my mom but it is sad that there is not enough awareness about this horrible dilibating disease

Bless you and your mom, Margaret, that's the sad thing when the balance goes. Diana

Very sorry to hear about your mom Margaret. Our Helpline is here if you'd like to talk to someone (0300 222 11 22) or you can always chat to others affected by dementia in our online support forum (https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/?_ga=1.125321098.1052420935.1450800997). We will unite against dementia to beat it!

hello I am in the same position as you. my mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2013 and since then has got a lot worse.i do the best I can to look after her but it never seems good enough.i lost my job in 2013 and since then I have been unable to work. this is because looking after her is a full time job.suffering from dementia is a locked in world and you need to find the key to unlock the door and set the person free.But I know that this is never going to happen. it is too late to help my mum now, but hopefully a cure will be found for this dreadful illness.best wishes good luck for the future. colin

Hi Colin, very sorry to hear about your mum and the extremely difficult time you are going through. Please do contact our Helpline for information and support, our advisers are more than happy to help: 0300 222 11 22

HELLO DEMENTIA NEEDS A LOT MORE RESEARCH DOING AND MONEY SPENT ON IT TO FIND A CURE. I THINK THAT THE CONDITION IS OUT OF CONTROL AND IF THE PROGRESSION OF IT IS NOT SLOWED DOWN IT WILL BE TOO LATE TO HELP MILLIONS OF SUFFERERS AROUND THE WORLD.WHY IS SO MUCH MONEY SPENT ON OTHER THINGS TODAY THAT IN COMPARISON ARE NOT AS IMPORTANT AS FINDING A CURE FOR DEMENTIA AND OTHER ILLNESSES THAT ARE INFLICTING SO MUCH OF THE WORLDS POPULATION. IN MY OPINION IT IS A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES.I CAN QUOTE A NUMBER OF EXAMPLES THAT I CAN THINK OF BUT I WILL NOT. THANKYOU

Hi Colin. My wife was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2013. She is 80 years young and we have been married over 57 years, even though I am registered disabled, I still care for her full time.
I have been shocked over the past year how rapidly the disease has progressed, she did start to get violent, but after contacting our local health authorities, we had a visit from a specialist dementia Dr. Who put her on a tablet and this has improved things greatly.
Are you claiming Attendance Allowance? If not contact DWP, I found them to be most helpful, a young Scotsman answered the phone, took charge, filled in all thr relevant forms for me and two weeks later I received the first payment.
The one thing that has helped me more than anything else is " A poem about Alziheimer's". I have framed it and hung it on the wall by my side, if I find myself getting a bit up tight, I just read it and it calms me down.
Hope that in some way this is of help to you. Take care. Walt

hello walt, I am sorry to here about your wife.thankyou for telling me about the poem. I will try and get a copy of it. I hope you are coping with caring for your wife. I am claiming carers allowance. I do not know what you think but dementia is a very cruel illness as it robs the sufferer of all their dignity and self respect. it is a locked in world and all you have to do is find the key and open the door and set the person free.but you know that you are never going to find the key because it does not exist.good luck and best wishes colin

Thanks COLIN, it is a terrible thing to see up close, especially after almost 58 years together. Still I at least still have wonderful memories of her when see was young, vivacious and fun to be with.
Now as if dementia wasn't bad enough, for the past couple of days she has had gastroenteritis, Doctor called round this afternoon, I have to call her in the morning & if there is no improvement, she will have to go into hospital. I dread that happening, even if it is for the best.
Take care and keep smiling. Walt.

HELLO WALT, SORRY TO HEAR THAT.DEMENTIA IS A CRUEL ILNESS AND IT CHANGES THE PERSONS PERSONALITY. MY MOTHER IS A SHADOW OF HER FORMER SELF,AND IT UPSETS ME TO THINK OF THE PERSON THAT SHE WAS. SOMETIMES IT IS LIKE CARING FOR A STRANGER.YOU HAVE TO KEEP REMINDING YOURSELF THAT IT IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE PERSON WHO IS AFFECTED BY DEMENTIA. THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE THE WAY THEY ARE.I SOMETIMES WISH THAT I COULD TAKE MY MOTHERS PLACE TO EXPERIENCE FOR MYSELF WHAT SHE IS GOING THROUGH.THEN MAYBE I WOULD BE MORE UNDERSTANDING AND PATIENT.YOU HAVE TO BE TOLERANT FOR THE PERSON YOU ARE CARING FOR SAKE.I HOPE YOU ARE COPING WELL.BEST WISHES COLIN

Sorry to say that my wife is now in hospital, after the bout of gastroenteritis I thought that she was getting better, unfortunately she did not. I had to call the ambulance out for her, she was diagnosed with sepsis.
I have just got home, she is looking a little better, but I am still very worried about her.
Did you get the poem ok?
Away now to cook a bite to eat. Bfn

HELLO WALT I AM VERY SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR WIFE BUT I HOPE YOU ARE COPING. I HAVE NOT LOOKED FOR THE POEM YET. LOOK AFTER YOURSELF COLIN

Good morning COLIN, thanks for your reply to my last.
If you would send me your email address, I would be only to pleased to forward a copy of the poem that I mentioned in my last posting to you.
My email addy is [email protected]
My wife seems to have got over the worst of the gastroenteritis, but it has left her terribly weak, she sleeps most of the day, I have to wake her up to take her pills, then she dozes off again.
Take care,
Jesse

HELLO WALT MY E MAIL ADDRESS IS: c[email protected] for forwarding me the poem, that is very much appreciated.i hope things are as ok with you as they can be. best wishes colin

Hi Margaret,

This sounds just like my Mum. She had a terrible fall on the stairs back in 2011. Although she appeared to recover, her balance was effected and she suffered subsequent falls. She was officially diagnosed in 2013. Now 89, she has lost the ability to walk and spends most of the time being moved from bed to chair by me and her carers. Although she remembers me most of the time, I'm just about all she can remember now. She was a fit, independant woman in her eighties but now that has all gone. It's a terrible sad end to a long happy life

Love the new branding and most of all we love the recognition that Dementia is re-defined. Here's to designing the future for ageing and everything that goes with it.

Thank you for your feedback Sally!

M dad was 51 when get go diagnosed, now 56 he is cannot walk, talk, eat, drink - NOTHING we need to make it more known to people ! we need to make more people aware

Hi Carly, it must be a very difficult time right now. You are right - it needs to be a social priority and we will make sure it is! If you'd like to chat with others affected by dementia, for some extra support, join our online community: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20013/talking_point_-_our_online_for…

HELLO CARLY I AM THE SAME AGE AS YOUR DAD BUT THANKFULLY I AM STILL HEALTHY. I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH BECAUSE MY MOTHER IS 83 AND HAS VASCULAR DEMENTIA. SHE IS A SHADOW OF HER FORMER SELF AND IS UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING FOR HERSELF. THIS ILLNESS IS CRUEL AND WE NEED TO FIND A CURE QUICKLY BEFORE IT TURNS INTO AN EPIDEMIC. I THINK DEMENTIA IS A TIMEBOMB WAITING TO EXPLODE AND INFLICT ITS MISERY ON GENERATIONS OF PEOPLE IN THE FUTURE UNLESS IT IS STOPPED VERY SOON. IT IS TOO LATE FOR MY MUM NOW BECAUSE THE PROGRESS OF IT IS HAS DONE ITS WORST TO HER.IT IS THE HARDEST SITUATION I HAVE EVER HAD TO COPE WITH IN MY LIFE AND VERY UPSETTING.BEST WISHES COLIN

I thoroughly agree with the reasons for re-branding the Alzheimer's Logo - it will bring more attention to one of the most devastating of diseases around today. I cared for my husband, who suffered Pick's Disease, a frontal lobe dementia, as he became disoriented, confused and physically unbalanced as well as doubly incontinent. He succumbed to the super bug whilst undergoing a relatively simply surgical procedure and passed away nine years ago. Since then I've become a Dementia Friend and walked to raise funds. Locally we want to continue with our Singalong sessions at our local community library here in Rawdon. We believe that by singing, happy times and memories are triggered, healthy benefits and community spirits are raised for the good of all.

My father has recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia at the age of 84 and my mother died at the age of 70 having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of 55. Awareness has come along way since the 1990s and a lot has improved but there is still so much more that needs to be done, both in terms of research and support. I love the new website and hope it helps to increase awareness and provide much needed support for sufferers and careers. We certainly need hope and action! X

Thank you so much for your positive feedback Susan!

My wife could not remember her adult children's birthdays so we had her tested. After looking after her for 2 years the dementia had progressed to such an extent that she had to be put into a Care Home where she now receives excellent care and attention.

Dementia needs to be at the forefront of Research because we need to find a cure urgently to save millions of people suffering from this disease. I was a carer for my mother who had alzheimer's and it was
so distressing to watch as my mum faded away, not knowing who she was, where she was and who I was. It still breaks my heart even after 4 years since her death when I think about it.

The Governments need to spend more money in the research going on and must deliver on its promise.

I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAY AND I AM NOW IN THE SAME SITUATION AS YOU WERE 4 YEARS AGO AND I AM COPING WITH IT DAY BY DAY BEST WISHES COLIN

Great new branding and I hope it helps high-light what is a horrible disease which claimed the life of my dad and has slowly taken our mum for the last 15 years to the point now she cannot walk or talk.

FIGHT DEMENTIA TOGETHER

Sorry to hear about your mum and dad, Deborah. Great to have you on board in the fight against dementia!

I can sympathise totally as I have been looking after my mom with Alzheimer's and is 93. She takes a great deal of looking after, sometimes very difficult and upsetting. Her mobility is bad and we don't get out much. I've been waiting for carer's vouchers for more than a year now. Having these would give me a break. It is an awful disease and hope there is a cure soon as I'm scared of getting it too.

Hi Miriam, please do contact our Helpline (0300 222 11 22) for support and information. We will beat dementia together!

I was diagnosed in November 2016, so I am new to all of this.

The information and comments below are interesting and I will enjoy reading similar in the future.

Hi Susan, we really hope you like the website and new brand. Feel free to leave some feedback on any improvements and changes that you'd find helpful. You can also call our Helpline for advice and support that you need: 0300 222 11 22

I am in my 5th year with Altsheimers and my deterioration is noticably increasing. I sincerely hope some treatment is found in the near future. Any assistance would be appreciated.

Hi Keith, you can ring our Helpline for information and advice on 0300 222 11 22. You can also keep up-to-date with all research development on this section of the website: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20019/our_research

Awareness is absolutely vital. My wonderful Mum, who is almost 83, took herself to her doctor in summer 2008 she thought she had Alzheimer's. End of 2010 possibly on the cusp of early onset dementia, or could just be old age memory loss and may not deteriorate any further. Mum sent for CAT scan to make sure not had a mini stroke, which could have caused the same results. Further tests in 6 months, early 2011 her brain had shrunk slightly, no sign of a stroke. Suggested weekly Alzheimer's group. Summer 2013 told does not have Alzheimer's, has form of dementia, mild cognitive impairment. Early 2014 Mum officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's started on Donepezil. The best thing for Mum is to keep her mind & body active. She goes to COGS clubs 3 times each week 10am -3pm. They really do keep her COGS turning, singing, dancing, light exercise, she doesn't always want to go but she's always glad she did. She can't always remember going, but I can tell it makes such a difference to her mood. She uses an iPad to do crosswords, play solitaire, Facetime & email. She can't always remember what to do, but with a bit of help & support is amazed to have the whole world at her fingertips. I video Mum at every opportunity & take as many pictures as I can. I don't think Mum has deteriorated hardly at all in the last 2 years. I actually think in some areas she is better than she was 2 years ago, because I make sure she is still so active.

Good luck with the new branding, it looks excellent. Lovely to see all the work going on with bringing this horrible disease out in to the open, it is now getting the recognician that it deserves but still a lot of work is needed to get it at the top of the pile where funding is concerned. Good luck to one and all.

Thanks Barbara!

Great article on the Mail online today the 26th, regarding Ray Wilson who was an England player in the World Cup winning team of 1966.

Ray is unfortunately suffering with Alzheimer's but is in good spirits and in the good care of his wife.

Well worth a read, http://dailym.ai/2kfH7Zj

My husband was diagnosed in 2011. In hindsight, looking back before diagnosis, he had condition at least 15yrs. He is now 73.
You are lucky so far, you can still read, write, walk and talk by sounds of it. My husband can walk, but cannot converse, express himself, dress and shave. He is doubly incontinent and is now under assessment after being in a care home who cannot cope with his behaviour.
Good luck.
Sadly, there will be no cure for him or those who have the condition now.
There maybe a cure for the next generation.

Hi Susan my husband has been in a care home since April. I miss him terribly but I know he is in the best place. He was diagnosed 4 years ago & can`t really communicate any more, but he seems happy. I hope you will find the right care home for his needs

I lost my 86 year old father last month after he suffered a stroke following a four year battle with vascular dementia. When I say a battle I mean .. a battle but one that he fought valiantly. I have fought with him and on behalf of him all the way and the work of the Alzheimers Society is invaluable. I feel just as we have The Autism Act passed in parliament there should also be a Dementia Act. The recognition and support of someone with dementia must be embedded in the psyche of all in our society.

My mother, grandmother and great grandmother all had dementia. It is my worst fear for growing older, everytime i forget something i worry it is the start. As we live longer and work longer dementia will effect more and more people and will be impossible to ignore.

I am a PM in a GP Surgery. We are trying to encourage patients and carers to take advantage of the advice and support available. We run sessions for Alzheimers Soc., staff in the surgery, and currently looking for ways to increase engagement.

Will make sure new branding gets a high profile.

I am very fortunate that none of my family or myself have been affected by dementia. However i am fully aware that this evil illness is on the increase and needs action taken to be taken now. About six months ago their was a lot of media attention given to a man in his 70s who had been diagnosed with dementia. With his son he found therapy through music and singing. I am not suggesting that such activity will fix anything. But the above story could have and should have been used to increase the profile of dementia. We have red nose day, children in need, text santa, national coffee mornings etc. What about doing the FIGHT AGAINST DEMENTIA BIG SING. I have been an entertainer for the best part of 50 years and there are thousands of amatuer and semi pro entertainers working clubs pubs etc. Many of which would be happy to do a venue for free. The purpose would be to not only get national press coverage but also local press and raise much needed research funds.

God bless all . Remember todays research will benefit the next generations

Hi Bernie, you're right - there is a strong link between memories, music and singing. Singing for the Brain is a very popular session that we run around the country. If you want to put your (brilliant!) ideas into action, contact our events team: 0330 333 0804 or [email protected]

I will contact this number Monday as I entertain in Residential Homes and would love to help.

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My mom died 4 years ago and had dementia. It was so sad to see her lose her memory and then have hallucinations and have to be put in a home where the people did not know enough about dementia and thought it best to sedate people instead of help them as it was less "work". A lot of care homes take this view and i think more needs to be done for carers and for the community care homes, more training on dealing with people with dementia so that they can be taken care of with dignity and given a better quality of life than my mom had before she passed away, it was heartbreaking, but not as heartbreaking as the lack of knowledge, help, and care whilst she was alive. Great to hear that things are changing for the better and the new branding looks great. I would like to support your cause in any way I can.

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