Blog post 19 May 2017
Tomorrow (Saturday) will mark the end of Dementia Awareness Week – the annual event that highlights the memory-loss condition and how we all can contribute to finding a cure.
Our televisions are regularly invaded with the clever advertising campaign by the Alzheimer’s Society encouraging to put differences aside and “unite against dementia.”
It’s a powerful promotion . . . dementia does not care who you are. It will affect us all and is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer.
The ad campaign reflects some of the realities of society, tapping into uncomfortable truths and challenges assumptions by showing that everyone can – and needs – to come together in the face of this invasive health problem.
I can only hope that this week has created a talking platform where new cases can be recognised earlier because someone has been brave enough to seek help.
The hurdle of acknowledging someone close may have the disease is a huge one and very often partners of those diagnosed make excuses for their behavior early in the dementia journey.
Truth is we all bury our heads in the sand from time to time. But if you’re seriously concerned, and the problem continues, it’s important to talk to someone about it. The sooner you know what you’re dealing with, the sooner you can get on with your life and feel in control again.
Earlier this year it was revealed that dementia is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales. For the first time, more people are dying of dementia than heart disease – in 2015, 1 in 9 people died of dementia.
The number of people who die from dementia each year is increasing and while there is progress in treating many major health conditions, there’s still no cure for dementia.
It doesn’t seem that long ago where diagnosis was hit and miss, where care home staff would recognise symptoms, but the resident would be ‘undiagnosed.’
Thankfully that is now changing with more people receiving a diagnosis of dementia than ever before. Some two-thirds of people now get a formal diagnosis
Changes in the way cause of death is recorded have also meant more people have dementia recorded on their death certificate
But, the figures also reflect that there are more people living with dementia and that, sadly, there is still no cure.
I read that of the top ten causes of death, dementia is the only one we can’t prevent, cure or even slow down.
The care sector needs to make sure that there’s the best possible care for people with dementia today. As a representative body, my West Midlands Care Association is regularly working with training providers and other companies to ensure members keep abreast of best practice.
We’re standing together. Please make sure you join us in this cause.