Let’s deal with dementia together!

Let’s deal with dementia together!

‘Let’s unite against dementia’ is the message from health and social care professionals during Dementia Awareness Week 2016 (14-20 May).

The Public Health Agency (PHA) and Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) are working jointly with the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia NI and Health and Social Care Trusts to promote a culture which ensures people with dementia are supported to live with dignity and without stigma.

Eleanor Ross, Nurse Consultant at PHA, said: “Dementia is a common condition, so it is important that we look at how we can raise awareness about it and consider how we as a community respond to it. During the week, we want people to learn something new about dementia, to increase their understanding and support people living with dementia.

“Dementia is not a condition that is exclusive to older age but the risk increases as you get older. Being aware of general signs and symptoms of dementia is important as a timely diagnosis can help people with dementia get the right care, treatment and support.

“By talking openly about dementia and its impact on daily life, people with dementia, family members and carers can begin to access the practical help and support available. Timely diagnosis allows people to receive the kind of support services that they need to enable them to live independent and fulfilling lives. Early diagnosis and support can also enable people to plan for the future and to make their own decisions about their care.”

Seamus McErlean, Commissioning Lead for Older People and Adult Services at the HSCB, said: “People can be reluctant to seek help if they are experiencing problems with their memory. They may feel that they are on their own and unsure about where to turn. They need to know that help is available and that staff from across the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors are working together to provide information and support that will make the dementia journey easier. Recent investments in dementia services are making improvements to the care and support that people with dementia and their carers can expect to receive. We believe that life doesn't end when dementia begins, and would encourage people to open up about worries they might have about their memory and to seek help as soon as possible.”

For more information on dementia see www.nidirect.gov.uk/dementia

If you are planning a day out with a loved one who has a dementia we have some helpful tips to make it an enjoyable experience, click here for more info.

If you, or a member of your family, have concerns about dementia, visit www.alzheimers.org.uk  or call the Alzheimer's Society Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 which can provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.