Getting a dementia diagnosis can be emotional, but early diagnosis can mean getting the necessary support to live independently.
Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by certain diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. In the UK alone, it is estimated that there are 850,000 people living with dementia, of which 460,000 have an official diagnosis.
Dementia Action Week 2022 is encouraging people to ‘act on dementia’ by raising awareness of the importance of dementia diagnosis. This allows the individual and their family members to access care and support earlier helping you to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.
Dr Dagmar Zeuner, Director of Public Health at Merton Council, said: “With just over two thirds of people living with dementia in Merton receiving a diagnosis, it is vitally important to reach out so that more people can receive support. An early diagnosis can really help and nine out of 10 people surveyed by the Alzheimer’s Society believed it was better to have a diagnosis.
“If you or someone close to you is experiencing any of the symptoms, we urge you to speak to your GP. Advice, information and support is also available from Merton’s Community Dementia Services.”
There are some common early symptoms that may appear some time before a diagnosis of dementia or may be mild to begin with. These include:
- memory loss
- difficulty concentrating
- finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change to use when shopping
- struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- being confused about time and place
- mood changes.
Mostly commonly arising in later life, dementia – particularly in its later stages – can have a profound impact on the people living with a dementia diagnosis, their family, carers and friends.
If you want more information and advice on the next steps to take, Alzheimer’s Society can help. To find out more, why not contact or visit Alzheimer’s Society Merton who run Merton’s Community Dementia Services.