September 2017 marks the sixth global World Alzheimer’s Month™, an international campaign to raise awareness of dementia and challenge the stigma around dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and affects approximately three quarters of people with dementia.
Memory loss can be a symptom of dementia and so it is important to see your GP to ensure you have access to the right support and services. Many people are reluctant to see their GP with concerns about their memory but other conditions such as stress, depression and certain physical conditions can all affect memory and so it is important to see your GP to rule out other causes which might be treatable.
For people who do receive a diagnosis of dementia, there is now a large amount of post diagnosis support available for the person with dementia and their carers, including support groups, information packs and community support. The earlier people receive a diagnosis, the sooner they can plan for the future.
Warwickshire County Council has worked hard to listen to the views of people living with dementia and their families, and the Dementia Navigator service has been operational in Warwickshire since 2016, helping to support people to find out about and access a range of support across Warwickshire.
Support from the Dementia Navigator service can be provided face to face, over the phone or by email. Contact the Alzheimer’s Society for more information call 01926 888899 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Warwickshire County Councillor Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Health said: ‘The Dementia Navigator service provides post diagnostic support to people with dementia and their carers across Warwickshire. Dementia Navigators provide emotional support and advice, they offer practical help and information which we know is valuable to people, especially those who have recently received a diagnosis’.
Warwickshire’s Living Well with Dementia website is also a useful source of information about dementia as well as support and services available across the county. Please visit warwickshire.gov.uk/dementia to find out more.
There is still a great deal of stigma surrounding dementia and this can have a huge impact on a person living with dementia and their carers, who need the support of their families, friendship groups and communities.
There are around 7,500 people estimated to be living with dementia in Warwickshire and this number is expected to rise to over 11,000 people in the next ten years. The fact is that most people will be affected in some way by dementia during their lifetimes.
To raise awareness and understanding of dementia, Warwickshire County Council is working with partners to promote the Dementia Friends initiative within Warwickshire. Becoming a Dementia Friend is about understanding more about dementia and the small ways you can help people who live with the condition. You don’t need to know someone with dementia to become a Dementia Friend – but as a member of the community you may be able to support people with dementia to access and enjoy their local community. There are already over 14,000 Dementia Friends in Warwickshire, but we need the support of residents to achieve our target of creating 30,000 Dementia Friends. It only takes five minutes to show your support: dementiafriends.org.uk