Dementia sufferers on the increase

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New figures have revealed an increase in the number of people being diagnosed with dementia in the East Midlands. The number diagnosed rose in a year by nearly two thousand from 21,600 to 23,400.

However, the figures have revealed that only 41 per cent of people that are living with dementia have a diagnosis in the East Midlands – an increase of two per cent since last year. It is thought that there are more than 33,000 people in the region that are living with the condition but aren’t receiving any of the benefits, drug treatments and support that comes from receiving a diagnosis.

Studies also show that an early diagnosis can save the taxpayer thousands of pounds, because it can delay someone needing care outside of their own home.

Ian Howarth, area manager for Alzheimer’s Society in East Midlands says: “It’s shocking that well over half of people that are living with dementia still don’t have a diagnosis in the East Midlands and so aren’t receiving the support, benefits and the medical treatments that are often available. We have seen an increase over the last year, but there is still a long way to go.”

“Everyone is a little bit forgetful now and again, but when memory loss starts to interfere with your daily life it is important to get it checked out as soon as possible. The sooner people are diagnosed, the sooner they can get support and start planning for the future.”

Alzheimer’s Society recommends that anyone concerned about memory problems, and experiencing any of the following should speak to their GP:

• struggling to remember recent events, despite being able to recall things that happened in the past

• finding it difficult to follow conversations or programmes on TV

• regularly forgetting the names of friends or everyday objects

• unable to recall things you’ve heard, seen or read

• having difficulty in making decisions

• repeating conversations or losing the thread in speech

• having problems thinking and reasoning

• feeling anxious, depressed or angry about your forgetfulness

• finding that other people are commenting on your forgetfulness

People who are worried about their memory or that of someone they know can also contact Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0845 300 0336. Alzheimer’s Society and Tesco are currently touring the UK to raise awareness of dementia. For more details, visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/roadshow