An accurate and timely diagnosis is an essential part of living as well as possible with dementia. A diagnosis is an important first step towards accessing treatment, support, information and advice to help families adjust to life with dementia.
However in 2016 it took twice as long for younger people to be diagnosed as it did older people. Younger people tend to have rarer types of dementia and they may not experience memory loss. Signs and symptoms can include behaviour, personality or mood changes which can be mistaken for other conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression or relationship problems.
The Young Dementia Network, of which Dementia UK is an active member, has worked with GPs to create a tool that is designed to support GPs in the recognition and understanding of young onset and rarer forms of dementia.
The pilot version of this GP decision making tool will be available for GPs to use and comment on from April 2017, with the aim of making the final version available to all GPs across the UK later in the year. To read more visit the Dementia UK website.
Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband has revealed the actress has Alzheimer’s and her condition has worsened in recent weeks. He said they had gone public with her diagnosis – made in 2014 – because it had become “a lot more difficult for us to hide”.
Alzheimer’s often develops slowly over several years. And experts say it is not always obvious to begin with because the symptoms can overlap with other illnesses.
An estimated 850,000 people in the UK are affected by this most common type of dementia. So how can you spot the signs? It’s more than just losing the car keys. Alzheimer’s is more than just forgetting things occasionally. Everyone can forget where they left that cup of tea or people’s names – sometimes.
Forgetting stuff is also part and parcel of normal ageing. But these aren’t necessarily signs of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Memory loss is much more serious and is often one of the first signs of the disease. Short-term memory is usually affected, making people forget what they’ve done 10 minutes before or forgetting conversations they have just had.
Memory problems can also lead to people repeating themselves, or having problems recalling events that happened recently or struggling with familiar daily tasks, such as following a recipe or using a bank card.
To find out more visit the BBC Website
The main risk factor for both cancer and dementia is age. Most people with dementia are over 65 years old. About half of people diagnosed with cancer are over 70 years old.
Each year, about 352,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer and about 850,000 people are living with dementia. Many people with dementia also have several other health conditions, including cancer.
Many people with dementia are cared for at home by a family member or friend. In the UK, there are about 670,000 carers of people with dementia.
For more information on caring for a person with cancer or dementia visit the Dementia UK website.