Over 5,000 people are currently living with dementia in the East Riding of Yorkshire and as an area with a growing older population; the CCG and its partners, throughout Dementia Action Week (21-27 May), want to raise awareness and encourage people who may be displaying signs and symptoms to get an early diagnosis.
Dementia has a huge bearing on people’s lives, their relationships and their confidence to carry out daily tasks and activities. It also has an enormous impact on their quality of life and that of their carers, family and friends, and can be the reason why people are less likely to go to their GP when they think something is wrong.
Dr Gina Palumbo, local GP and East Riding of Yorkshire CCG Clinical Chair said:
“Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, which is bad enough to affect daily life.
“It is caused by a loss of nerve cells and is a progressive condition, meaning that symptoms gradually get worse.
“This is why identifying there is a problem and diagnosing the underlying cause, at an early stage, is vital in making sure people get the right treatment that can improve symptoms and slow down the progress of the disease.
“A diagnosis opens a lot of doors, giving people access to support services and treatments that could help to relieve their symptoms and give them time to plan for their future. It also provides a greater understanding of their condition and what is happening to them which is vital to improving their lives and those of their carers.
“We would like to advise any residents who think they or a relative may have dementia or are experiencing some of the signs and symptoms, to visit their GP.”
Wendy Mitchell, Dementia Champion and best-selling author of Somebody I Used To Know, said: “So often when people hear the word ‘dementia’ they think of the end stages and when diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia so many people fall into a state of despair, believing it to be the end.
“I soon realised that life wasn’t going to be quite as I imagined but also realised that this new life was all about adapting to the challenges that dementia throws at you and trying to keep one step ahead, outmanoeuvring and outwitting dementia at every stage. Adapting is the key to survival.”
For more information visit www.alzheimers.org.uk