Health bosses have urged friends and family of older people to look out for the early symptoms of dementia.
The plea was made by NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to mark World Alzheimer’s Day on Saturday (21 September).
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“Many people see dementia as a normal consequence of ageing and don’t come forward for the help and support that’s available. Recognising the symptoms is the first step towards getting a diagnosis that can reduce the anxiety of people with dementia and their family.
“Early diagnosis allows a greater chance to benefit from treatments, access resources and information, and to plan for the future.”
Early symptoms include memory loss, difficulty in performing everyday tasks, and problems with language. Other signs include disorientation about time and place, poor or decreased judgement, and problems with keeping track of things.
Symptoms also include misplacing things, changes in mood or behaviour, changes in personality, and loss of initiative.
In the UK, there are around 800,000 people with dementia. It mainly affects people over the age of 65, and the likelihood increases with age. But it can also affect younger people: there are more than 17,000 people in the UK under the age of 65 with dementia.
Dementia is seriously disabling, not only for those diagnosed but also for their families and carers. According to estimates from the World Health Organisation, there is a new case of dementia every four seconds.
Taking into account the rapid increase in the elderly population, there could be 115 million people with dementia worldwide in the next 40 years.
Marc Wortmann, executive director of Alzheimer’s Disease International, said: “Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease continue to grow at a rapid rate due to global ageing. The disease has a huge impact on the families that are hit but it also affects health and social systems because of the economic cost.
“Countries are not prepared and will continue not to be prepared unless we overcome the stigma and enhance our efforts to provide better care for those who have dementia, and find a cure for the future.”
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and accounts for between 50 per cent and 60 per cent of all cases. It is caused by abnormal brain tissue changes.
For more information on Alzheimer’s and dementia, visit www.alz.co.uk or
On Wednesday 2 October Derbyshire County Council and the county’s four CCGs will host a consultation event to capture people’s views on dementia services and give them a chance to shape the future dementia strategy. The event is intended for people with dementia, their carers, and relevant clinical and social care staff.
The event runs from 11am until 2 pm at Oaklands Village, Hall Farm Road, Swadlincote DE11 8LH. Lunch will be provided.
For further information and to book a place please contact the Stakeholder Engagement Board:
Susannah Bond: 01629 532058, Susannah.email@example.com
Sandy Bull: 01629 531307, firstname.lastname@example.org
Team Mobile Number: 07770702184
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is one of four clinical commissioning groups in the county responsible for the healthcare of people in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111