This September is World Alzheimer’s Month, and local NHS organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire are showing their support by highlighting the symptoms and challenging the stigma around dementia.
Dementia affects over 50 million people worldwide, with a new case occurring every three seconds. Although there are over 100 different types of dementia, Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia in the UK.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s can include:
- Memory loss
- Speech difficulties
- Difficulty performing routine and daily tasks
- Mood and personality changes
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
- Delusions (believing things that are untrue).
Studies show that 2 out of 3 people feel their country does not have enough understanding of Alzheimer’s, leading to a lot of misconceptions and stigma. Alzheimer’s Awareness Month gives people the opportunity to talk about their experiences, and to promote the facts about the condition.
Dr David Spraggett, Chair at NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “An estimated 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia so, we want to encourage everyone to look out for symptoms in their friends and families. It can be easy to dismiss memory problems as just being a part of getting older and it can be difficult to recognise the early signs.”
Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair at NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG, said: “Lifestyle, family history and age can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. If you have any concerns, please contact your GP for advice. Getting an accurate and early diagnosis can help you prepare for the future and help manage symptoms.”
Dr Imogen Staveley, Deputy Chair at NHS Warwickshire North CCG said: “Dementia will likely affect everyone at some point in their lives because they will know of someone who has been diagnosed with the condition. We encourage everyone to challenge the misconceptions around Alzheimer’s. Now is the time to start an open conversation to combat stigma and raise awareness.”
If you think you or a loved one may be experiencing dementia symptoms, don’t delay speaking to your GP. The NHS is still here for you and a health professional can chat to you via a telephone or online consultation. Please call your GP or access NHS111.
For more information and additional support, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/alzheimers-disease/ or call the Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456.
You can find several local organisations also provide information and offer support:
Alzheimer's Society Warwickshire Services https://directory.warwickshire.gov.uk/service/alzheimer-s-society-south-warwickshire-branch
Alzheimer's Society support services Coventry https://cid.coventry.gov.uk/kb5/coventry/directory/service.page?id=eof2Ag73auU&adultchannel=1
Living well with Dementia - https://dementia.warwickshire.gov.uk/
Age UK Coventry and Warwickshire https://www.ageuk.org.uk/coventryandwarwickshire/our-services/warwickshire/dementia-support-for-carers/