Raising awareness during Dementia Action Week

Last week was Dementia Action Week and Warwickshire County Council has been using the opportunity to raise awareness of dementia and how to spot the early signs.

Stress, anxiety, depression, certain physical illnesses, infections and vitamin and thyroid deficiencies are just a few of the things that can make memory worse.

Seeking early help and diagnosis is important as there may be support or treatment available that can help to improve symptoms and slow down the effects of dementia.

There are many benefits to receiving an early diagnosis; it can help a person and their family to understand their symptoms and help them to make plans for, and choices about their future.

Some of the main benefits of an early diagnosis include:

  1. An explanation for symptoms that may have been worrying a person or their family
  2. Access to treatments that can improve symptoms and slow down the effects of the disease. Treatments are usually more effective the earlier they are started.
  3. Access to advice and support. Individuals diagnosed early in the disease process can take advantage of and learn tips and strategies to better manage and cope with the symptoms of the disease.
  4. Time to prepare for the future and plan ahead. An earlier diagnosis enables the person to participate in their own legal, financial, and long-term care planning and to make their wishes known to family members. It also allows the person the opportunity to prioritise how they spend their time – focusing on what matters most to them.

In Warwickshire, there are many sources of support and services. There are three key routes to finding out about local services:

1. Warwickshire’s Dementia Navigator service

Access to support from a dementia navigator who can provide a range of support as well as information on all of the local services in your area.

Tel: 01926 888899 Email: southwarks@alzheimers.org.uk

2. Warwickshire’s Living Well with Dementia website

A resource with a range of information about dementia, a map of services at district and borough level with details of all of the services in the area: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/dementia

3. Information booklets available at district and borough council level

For Northern Warwickshire contact: northernareateam@warwickshire.gov.uk

For Rugby contact: rugby@warwickshire.gov.uk

For South Warwickshire contact: southernareateam@warwickshire.gov.uk

An additional source of support for those living with or caring for someone with dementia is Dementia Friends. A Dementia Friend is a volunteer who has taken the time to learn more about what dementia is, how it affects people and the small things that can make a difference to the lives of people with dementia. Warwickshire now has over 25,000 Dementia Friends. For more information, visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk

Further details about services, support and living well with dementia can be found on Warwickshire’s Living Well with Dementia website, www.warwickshire.gov.uk/dementia or by emailing: dementiapartnership@warwickshire.gov.uk

Find out more about the benefits of early diagnosis here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/early-diagnosis-benefits

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