A recent study by Alzheimers Society has found that over half of people with dementia put off seeking a diagnosis for up to one year or more. They also found that over two thirds of people surveyed felt a diagnosis would mean their life was over. Delaying diagnosis presents particular issues for carers who can be confused and upset by changes in the behaviour of their loved one that they don’t understand. Once a diagnosis and services are in place, the carer can focus on looking after their own needs as well as caring in a safe and sustainable way.
It is estimated that 225,500 people will develop dementia this year. Getting an early diagnosis gives people the best chance of getting treatment, information, advice and support. The Chief Executive of Alzheimers Society says ‘Too many people are in the dark about dementia – many feel that a dementia diagnosis means someone is immediately incapable of living a normal life, while myths and misunderstandings continue to contribute to the stigma and isolation that many people will feel. This Dementia Awareness Week, we want to reassure people that life doesn’t end when dementia begins.”