Dementia Action Week 2023

This week is Dementia Action Week (DAW). The theme this year is all about the importance of timely diagnosis, and how to identify the signs and symptoms of dementia. 

Any form of dementia diagnosis can be difficult to deal with, but catching it early and knowing the signs to look out for can make a real difference to someone’s wellfare. Living with dementia can be dangerous as people’s memories and perceptions start to change, so the right level of care is vital to people’s wellbeing. At Crouched Friars we work tirelessly to ensure that residents’ lives are full of joy, kindness and care and that includes great dementia care.

Dementia Action Week: Recognising the importance of early diagnosis

What happens during DAW?

Dementia Action Week calls upon members of the public to learn about or refresh their knowledge, demystifying the condition. The Social Care Institute for Excellence has show that there are more than 920,000 people in the UK living with dementia. That number expected to rise to over a million by 2024.

This year, DAW is urging people to seek an early diagnosis for their loved ones before it reaches a crisis point. 

Signs and symptoms

There are over 200 types of dementia, and the word ‘dementia’ itself is an umbrella term to describe a set of symptoms that typically get worse over time. Some of the symptoms are:

Memory problems

  • Frequently misplacing things
  • Getting lost in places people usually recognise
  • Struggling to remember names
  • Short-term memory significantly reduced

Communication abilities

  • Mood swings, anxiety and depression
  • Becoming quiet and withdrawn
  • Difficulties when following conversation
  • Changes in personality or behaviour

Cognitive function

  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest in their regular activities
  • Struggles with decision making

A resident painting a flower basket

What should you do if you suspect that someone you love has dementia?

If you have concerns that someone you love has dementia, we recommend they get an appointment with their local GP as soon as possible. We know that speaking about health concerns can be daunting, but a diagnosis could change someone’s life.

The GP or nurse will run through some medical history questions and may decide to do some further investigation like physical exams or blood/urine tests.

Honestly and transparency are really important when having these conversations so that the GP has an accurate idea of what is going on. Should you ever need more information or clarification, you should always ask because that could be the difference between receiving the right care and not. 

If your loved one needs some extra support, they can bring a friend or family member to the appointment and it might be worth booking a longer appointment. There can be a lot to discuss.

A resident catching a foam football

Benefits of a formal diagnosis
Seeking a formal diagnosis is frightening, but the sooner it happens the sooner your loved one can adjust to a life with their condition. It can also open up opportunities to find support in the form of groups and therapies. 

You can contact us any time for more information about the dementia care we provide here at Crouched Friars by emailing info@crouchedfriars.co.uk, or calling: 01206 572 647 or filling out our contact form.

If you are concerned that you or someone you love might have dementia, you can find more information about the condition from the Alzheimer’s Society here: ​​https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia 

 

 

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