The Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Action Week runs from 16-22 May and Kent County Council (KCC) is urging residents to look out for signs of the condition and get a timely diagnosis.
With dementia diagnosis rates at a five-year low, tens of thousands of people across the country are currently living with undiagnosed dementia. This means they don’t have access to the vital care and support that a diagnosis can bring.
Getting a diagnosis can be daunting, but according to recent Alzheimer’s Society research, 91% of people affected by dementia agree that it’s better to know.
Getting a timely diagnosis can help avoid a possible crisis for ether the person with dementia and/or the friends and family around them and gives access to benefits both emotional and practical.
As well as the misconception around memory loss just being part of getting old, recent research found being in denial, and referral times to specialists, are big barriers for those experiencing symptoms to seek a diagnosis.
During Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging those who are concerned that they, or someone close to them, may be experiencing signs of dementia such as memory loss, personality changes and changes in behaviour to seek support.
They offer guidance and practical advice on what next steps to take, what to expect during and after the diagnosis process, and what support Alzheimer’s Society can offer throughout. Those who might be living with undiagnosed dementia are encouraged to:
- Be able to understand and recognise potential dementia symptoms
- Go to Alzheimer’s Society for guidance and support
- Feel empowered to take the right next step
- Improve the diagnosis process for both them and healthcare professionals.
Clair Bell, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: “Getting a timely dementia diagnosis can be intimidating but it is the first vital step towards getting the essential care and support available for both the individual and those who care for them.
“With the right support, many people can continue to live independently in their own homes for a number of years, enjoying life as they did before their diagnosis.
“By supporting the Alzheimer Society’s Dementia Action Week, we want to raise awareness of dementia throughout Kent and direct those impacted by it to the services and support available and promote the signs to look out for and small changes that make a big difference to those living with dementia.
“Dementia isn’t an inevitable part of ageing, and there are things we can all do to reduce the risk of developing some forms of dementia, such as being mentally active and making healthy lifestyle choices.”
There are a range of activities happening across the county for Dementia Action Week led by local Dementia Friendly Communities, visit our website to find your local Dementia Friendly Community Group and find out what is happening in your area https://kent.connecttosupport.org/community-directory/
To find out more about dementia symptoms, care and local support, visit our Dementia website page at: https://kent.connecttosupport.org/information-and-advice/health-and-wellbeing/long-term-health-conditions/dementia/
For more information on Dementia Action Week visit: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/