The chairman of the Donegal branch of the Alzheimer Society says lack of knowledge about dementia can sometimes make it difficult for people to understand or help those with the condition.
Alastair McKinney was speaking to Ocean FM News as a new campaign is launched to raise awareness of the condition.
The new TV, radio and online campaign features real-life stories aimed at giving everyone a better understanding of dementia.
More than 3,200 people are living with the condition in the north west.
Of these, 1,929 are in Donegal, 857 in Sligo and 441 in Leitrim.
Dementia is the name given to a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember.
Mr McKinney, who is voluntary chairman of the Donegal branch of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, says dementia is a condition that many people do not understand:
Helen Rochford Brennan from Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, lives with early-stage dementia.
She has this message for people who meet those diagnosed with dementia.