Dementia diagnosis rates decrease as awareness week starts in Falkirk

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Awareness Week started today and new figures released show the dementia diagnosis rate is at a five year low.

By James Trimble
Monday, 16th May 2022, 1:12 pm
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 5:57 pm

A UK charity which provides support and research for those affected by dementia, the Alzheimer's Society aims to raise more awareness of the condition this week.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “There are about 800,000 people with dementia in the UK, but it is estimated around 400,000 people have dementia but do not know it.

"By raising awareness about this condition, it is hoped more people will be diagnosed earlier, giving more time for them to come to terms with future symptoms.”

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Alzheimer's Society Dementia Awareness Week aims to increase knowledge of the condition so people are diagnosed earlier

The theme of this year’s awareness campaign is diagnosis, with the latest NHS figures showing dementia diagnosis rates are at a five year low, – with numbers showing 443,900 dementia diagnoses for March 2022, compared to 430,758 reports of coded diagnosis in March 2021 and 470,292 in March 2020.

It is believed this decrease is down to dementia being hard to diagnose, slow progression and a lack of awareness of the symptoms of the condition.

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An Alzheimer’s Society spokesperson said: “Dementia is not a disease. Dementia is a term given to a group of symptoms from certain diseases which affect the brain.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.

"A diagnosis of dementia is often devastating to the person concerned. Other serious diseases, such as cancers, offer hope, however small, of treatment success. The symptoms of dementia are progressive and on an unknown time scale.

"It could be months or many years before the symptoms become advanced. On a positive note, many people with dementia can live full lives with little or no assistance.

Living in the present, doing the fun things now which were planned for later in life, is a strategy which helps some people cope with this condition."

Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, with problems with short term memory often being the first sign of dementia.

People with dementia also have difficulty with communication, being unable to recall a particular word or phrase in conversation.

These dementia symptoms are progressive, meaning they get worse over time.

Advanced symptoms usually mean a person is unable to look after themselves without assistance.

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