25th Sep, 2020

Dementia Matters

Worcester Editorial 9th Feb, 2020

THERE are 9,600 people living with dementia in Worcestershire right now and many in the county might be surprised to learn that dementia is the leading cause of death in the UK.

But with so many different headlines about dementia almost every week in the national press, it’s hard to know what to believe.

There are five key pieces of information that the Alzheimer’s Society team in Worcestershire wants everyone in the county to know.

Firstly, dementia is not a natural part of ageing and it doesn’t just affect older people. More than 40,000 people under 65 in the UK have dementia. This is called early-onset dementia.

Secondly, dementia is caused by diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease which causes nerve cells in the brain to die. There are lots of other causes and no two types of dementia are the same. In different types of dementia there is damage to different parts of the brain.

Dementia isn’t just about losing your memory. Dementia does often start by affecting the short-term memory.

Someone with dementia might repeat themselves and have problems recalling things that happened recently. But dementia can also affect the way people think, speak, perceive things, feel and behave.

It’s also important to know that people can still live well with dementia.

Until the day a cure comes, support and treatments are available which can help with symptoms and managing daily life. These can allow people with dementia to lead active, purposeful lives and carry on doing the things that matter to them most.

Medication is available which may help with some types of dementia and stop symptoms progressing for a while. This is one reason why it’s very important to go to your GP as soon as you suspect there’s a problem.

Finally, we want everyone in Worcestershire to know that Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected by dementia – whether they are living with a diagnosis or caring for a loved one.

Call Dementia Connect on 0333 150 3456 or e-mail dementia.connect@alzheimers.org.uk or visit www.alzheimers.org.uk for more.

Kumbi Mandinyenya Alzheimer’s Society Area Manager for Midlands Shires

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