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Online game raises awareness of living with dementia

October 21, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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Bupa, a UK-based healthcare group, recently announced the results of a study on memory and the launch of an online game aimed at raising the awareness of what it's like to live with dementia.

In a survey, Bupa researchers looked at "memory blots"—those times when people momentarily forget things.

For all age groups surveyed in the UK, the top five memory blots were walking into a room and forgetting why you went there; not remembering where you put your keys; forgetting items on your shopping list in the supermarket; forgetting a password; and forgetting where you left your cell phone.

Professor Graham Stokes, director of dementia care at Bupa, explains that these moments are not usually cause for concern. But, he noted, "While occasional memory blots should not to be mistaken with the onset of dementia, these forgetful moments do give a sense of what living with dementia can feel like, and the emotions someone living with the disease can experience.”

To give people a glimpse of what it would be like to live with dementia and to experience some of the frustrations and confusion that accompany this disease, Bupa designed an interactive online game called "The Memory Game."

As part of their study, the researchers also reported that more than three-quarters of people surveyed (77 percent) didn't think dementia could occur in the brain in the early 40s and more than half (57 percent) believed that someone diagnosed with dementia at age 75 wouldn’t have begun to develop the condition until they were 55 or older.

"This research shows that there is a huge knowledge gap when it comes to dementia," Stokes said. "With the number of people living with dementia set to rise in the UK to over one million by 2025, it is critical that we increase awareness and understanding so we can better support people living with the condition, as well as their close family and friends."