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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75 comments

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Thanks so much for your support Lorraine. We will beat dementia! Take a look at our Get Involved section on the website to see how you can show your support: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20002/get_involved

My husband has been diagnosed for the past 10 years with Parkinson's and the dementia associated often with this. I have been threatened with his hands round my throat especially in the night time and he became very strong then. After more violence I had to get him cared for but I felt very guilty about this. Got him settled then just before Christmas the home closed. I have been funding this so got minimal help finding a new place. He has not settled and is so much worse I feel the new home don't want him there in case he falls. I am trying to get him nearer to me but still waiting for a bed. When I visit I am constantly asked if any news yet. Now we are all in limbo and he has no regular doctor, no consultant. It was not easy putting him into care, but now I feel we are both being punished. He will no longer look at me and has very poor speech. At this point there seems to be no help from anyone, not medically or socially. I feel we have both been abandoned. A wonderful gentleman, a hard worker, diagnosed on retirement. He would be mortified if he could understand ! Heartbreaking. If you have read this to the end, thank you for reading it. It has helped to have a moan!

Hi Celia, it's really important to talk about dementia so honestly, so thank you very much for sharing your story with us. It sounds like you've been going through an extremely difficult time, our Helpline is here to support you and give any information or advice that you need (0300 222 11 22). You might also find some comfort by talking in our online support forum: https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/?_ga=1.51237673.1052420935.1450800997

It was heartwarming to read your post Celia, which is so close to my own experience . My husband is 73 and has been in a Care Home since last April. He has now become violent to the staff and other clients and the Care Home has reluctantly asked for him to be taken elsewhere. He was such a kind and gentle man before it is horrible to see this change in him. He would be horrified, and sometimes I feel he knows he has done things he shouldn't and is ashamed. I am self funding and am unsure where I will stand at the end of this month when David must leave his Current home and I can't find anywhere else that will take him.
Hopefully this week all will be sorted.

The new branding is great, the strapline dynamic, but the problem of the Alzheimer's Society being associated with ALL forms of dementia has still not been addressed. The one question I am asked at absolutely every session I do as a Dementia Champion is, "What's the difference between Alzheimers and dementia? The Dementia Friends sessions are helping to educate people, but here is still a long way to go before people realise that the Alzheimer's Society is not just about Alzheimers but all of the many diseases that cause dementia.

Hi Hazel, thank you for your feedback - we really value it. During the early stages of the process we reviewed what works and what could be improved about our current brand. Our name was one of the elements we examined and taking all the research results into consideration we decided to keep it. Our name is a valuable asset and will provide a bridge between the new brand and our heritage. At the same time we know that we need to make it clear that we deal with all forms of dementia – that’s why our new strapline includes ‘dementia’. Thank you for all the work you do as a Dementia Champion and in educating others about our work.

I think what you've done and continue to do is wonderful. But, I hope you give some credit to Harry Urban who created his Forget Me Not Facebook group years ago, and has been saying United Against Dementia for years as well. It seems that you borrowed both from him.

My Mum had Dementia in the last few years of her life and this was horrible far us all .
I would love to be able to help people living with Dementia, I play keyboard and using a small karaoke screen have entertained and got people to join in with me in musical memories .
I call this entertainment "Brian's Musical Happy Hours".
I live in Bury Lancashire .
I have my own transport and equipment so all I need is an electric plug and a few people wanting to join in with some of their musical memories.
I am a Dementia Friend who would love to help more.
Thanks Brian.

I am a Dementia Friend's Champion. This new brand is brilliant, just what is needed and the new story line, with this new logo, will certainly strengthen our Introduction Sessions.
When could we/I expect to see the logo and appropriate words appear on our dashboard under resources?
Sorry to be so enthusiastic!!!

Hi Brian, thank you for your positive feedback! We’ll be updating all of our materials over the coming months so keep an eye on your dashboard and in the Champions newsletter for the latest updates.

Lots of positive feedback from visitors, which is great! The more we share our experiences, the more we understand what is happening in our brains.

My 84 year old mum suffers from Alzheimers and Vascular Dementia. She still lives at home with, until 6 months ago, my father taking good care of her. She is usually ok during the day with two daughter taking turns in caring for her. She likes to be alone at night and doesn't want a 'babysitter' I recently took her to stay overnight at my cousins for her to visit family. She coped well during the day but at night she kept getting up, dressing herself and packing her bag as she thought it was time to leave. Was this just because she was out of her comfort zone? I worry she may be doing the same when home alone. Any ideas?

Hi Marion, Sometimes a person with dementia who is coping well at home will experience increased confusion when they are out of their usual environment and routine, however it is also not unusual for them to experience agitation and confusion in their own homes as well. Sometimes this can be due to ‘sundowning’ which happens usually during the late afternoon and evening. Sometimes this can be due to a particular reason, such as illness causing delirium or a variety of other factors, such as anxiety, boredom, loneliness or a feeling that they should be doing something outside of their home. The only way to know if your mum is doing the same thing when she’s at home would be for someone to check on her. If she is then you might find it helpful to have a look at our factsheets on changes in behaviour http://bit.ly/1MD6ZrX and safety in the home http://bit.ly/1mcCejz which give some tips on ways people can support someone with dementia in keeping safe and well while retaining their independence as much as possible in this sort of situation. You could also call our helpline on 0300 222 1122 to talk through some options.

It is not until the general public is made aware of the problems faced by those suffering dementia, autism, deafness and other embarrassing conditions that the attitude to these invisible conditions will change. There are still people who find it amusing to move an item a blind person has put down so they can watch the panic of the blind person with the terror that an item has been stolen. Until such behaviour towards those seen as less than perfect is roundly condemned by any who see it life will remain harder than it already is for those with any debilitating condition. I wish you more power to your elbows in making more people aware of how they can help rather than add to the problems faced by those with any disability, visible or otherwise.

I would have liked to have seen a change of name to use Dementia in the name. The general public know of Alzheimer's but I find I have to explain that my dad has Vascular dementia and what it is and that Alzheimer is a type of Dementia, people don't understand.

Thank you for this web sight it as helped to read about people in the same position as me ,my husband is 75yr and was diagnosed 2yrs ago with moderate dementia and Alzheimer's find it very hard some days as you.never get two days the same .im in my seventy but am quite fit ,but still get tried ,

UNITED AGAINST DEMENTIA

does this mean you will work with ALL groups /parties to make sure this happens dear friends, unless we ALL work together we cannoty take this fight any farther, dont you agree ?? xxxx

We couldn’t agree more Norrms! Dementia is one of the most significant health challenges facing us today, and it deserves much more attention than it gets. We hope that our new brand will help us engage with people from all walks of life, so that, like our tag line says, we are all ‘United against dementia.’ Thanks for getting in touch, it’s appreciated!

Fantastic! My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2011 and I started caring for him a couple of years later. Mum had looked after dad's mum when she developed dementia years before with no help and I didn't want her to struggle with dad as well. We managed quite well for a couple of years. Then mum's health deteriorated and she developed vascular dementia so I looked after them both with some help from carers until they both died, Dad in December 2015 and mum 4 months later. The most difficult part about caring for them was getting everyone else to understand the problem and navigating through such complex health and care systems to get what we needed.
It's great to see your new 'branding' Society really needs to wake up to dementia and deal with it......well done. Anne

HELLO I AM IN THE SAME POSITION AS YOU ANNE. MY MOTHER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH VASCULAR DEMETIA IN 2013 AND SINCE THEN MYSELF AND MY SISTER HAVE CARED FOR HER FULL TIME.I LOST MY JOB IN 2013 AND SINCE THEN I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO WORK AS OBVIOUSLY LOOKING AFTER MY MOTHER HAS TO TAKE PRIORITY.MY SISTER IS ALSO IN A POSITION WHERE SHE CANNOT WORK.THERE IS ANOTHER MEMBER OF MY FAMILY THAT COULD HELP BUT FOR SOME REASON HAS CHOSEN TO IGNORE THE PROBLEM, LOOK THE OTHER WAY AND WALK AWAY FROM HIS RESPONMSIBILITIES. IF HE HELPED IT WOULD TAKE SOME OF THE PRESSURE OFF MY SISTER AND ME AND GIVE US A BREAK FROM CARING FOR MY MOTHER.HE HAS SAT ON HIS BACKSIDE AND WATCHED ME AND MY SISTER STRUGGLE. HE IS A SELFISH PERSON AND HAS ONLY EVER THOUGHT OF HIMSELF.GOOD LUCK AND BEST WISHES FOR THE FUTURE,COLIN

[…] Links: Alzheimer’s Society press releaseAlzheimer’s Society blog postDesignWeek story (a few more application images […]

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Like the new look very much - anything to extend the Public's awareness is good.I'm my husband's full-time carer and can't praise enough the help and support I receive from my local Alzheimers Society.It's lovely to know that there's someone at the end of the phone to listen,help and advise as looking after someone with this condition is a steep learning curve.
I'm exhausted but just about coping thanks to 3 half days' respite a week when my husband goes to a Day Care centre.
Sincerely hope that a cure can eventually be found for future generations. Valerie

Hi there, my name is Magdalene Matthews my husband Daniel has alzheimers before that he was with depression all his life it has been a hard experience for us in the family. Now he is in a nursing home nearby I visit him everday it really breaks my heart. I still love him even though I never had a good marriage life

I was diagnosed with Neurological Dementia 2 years ago! So far I am having some problems with short term memory loss-but otherwise just as forgetful as I THINK I was before! It is helpful reading of others' experiences...
I was sharing a house, now I have found a very nice flat & can't help wondering about the progress of the disease? I have always loved to sing & belong to my local church choir, I do think singing might have helped slow down the progress of my symptoms, is this feasible? I would welcome any comments!

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