'Time to take action' - Raising awareness during Dementia Awareness Week - The Worcester Observer

'Time to take action' - Raising awareness during Dementia Awareness Week

Worcester Editorial 21st May, 2022   0

TO MARK Dementia Action Week, a national bid to encourage people to take action to improve the lives of people affected by dementia, Observer and Standard journalist Rob George writes to encourage readers to ‘act on dementia’.

I WROTE about losing my mum with dementia in May 2016, just months after she died at age of just 72.

One of my fondest memories of sharing my experience with you was the phone call I received from an elderly gentleman, one quiet Friday afternoon.

In offering his sympathies, he bravely went on to share his story of caring for his beloved wife who like mum was suffering with dementia, his stubbornness in not asking for help but his joy at being encouraged to believe he wasn’t alone.

I share the story now after new Alzheimer’s Society research sadly shows the misconception around memory loss being a sign of normal ageing remains the biggest barrier to people seeking a dementia diagnosis.

With diagnosis rates falling to a five-year low, the charity wants to encourage those who might be living with undiagnosed dementia to come forward for guidance and support and to feel empowered to take the next step.

It’s a plea I wholeheartedly endorse, while it may indeed be dementia and not good news, an early diagnosis will give doctors a fighting chance to slow this cruel illness down.

Yes it’s daunting, I remember the feeling of helplessness when mum was diagnosed, but I believe it’s better to know to allow you and your loved one to be prepared for what may lie ahead.

For while no two diagnoses are the same, the help offered by doctors, by nurses and in our wonderful care homes will soften the blow for your loved one and give you the security of knowing they are being cared for when the time comes for this cruel illness to take hold.

It’s not always ‘getting old’, equally it’s not always dementia – but only by finding out will you know what the future holds.

• Help and support is just a phone click away. Call 0333 150 3456 or visit alzheimers.org.uk for more.

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