Dementia Action Week (DAW) 2023

This week is Dementia Action Week (15th – 21st May) and the theme this year is all about the importance of timely diagnosis, and how to identify the signs and symptoms of dementia. 

Many residents at The Beeches live with dementia, and we work tirelessly to ensure that their lives are full of joy, kindness and care. Catching a dementia diagnosis, while emotionally challenging, can be really helpful in ensuring the right care is delivered in a timely manner. 

What happens during Dementia Action Week (DAW)?

Annually, DAW calls upon members of the public to learn about dementia in order to demystify the condition. According to the Social Care Institute for Excellence,*there are more than 920,000 people in the UK living with the condition, with that number expected to rise to over a million by 2024.

This year DAW is all about urging people to seek an early diagnosis for their loved ones before it reaches a crisis point. At The Beeches we are dementia specialists, and while we can’t provide diagnoses, we can certainly answer any questions you might have about the condition and how it affects our loved ones. 

Signs and symptoms of dementia

There are over 200 types of dementia, and the word itself is an umbrella term to describe a set of symptoms that typically get worse over time. There are some shared symptoms across the different types, including**:

  • Memory problems
    • Frequently misplacing things
    • Getting lost in places people usually recognise
    • Struggling to remember names
    • Short-term memory significantly reduced
  • Communication abilities
    • Mood swings, anxiety and depression
    • Becoming quiet and withdrawn
    • Difficulties when following conversation
    • Changes in personality or behaviour
  • Cognitive function
    • Restlessness
    • Loss of interest in their regular activities
    • Struggles with decision making

What should you do if you suspect that someone you love has dementia?

If you have concerns that someone you love has dementia, we recommend they get an appointment at their local GP surgery as soon as possible. Although speaking about health concerns can be daunting, it’s a diagnosis that could change someone’s life.

The GP or nurse will run through some medical history questions. The may decide to do some further investigation like physical exams or blood/urine tests.

It’s really important that everyone is honest and open to discussion during these appointments, and if you’re ever unsure of language used you should always ask any medical professionals to simplify or clarify their explanations. 

If your loved one needs some extra support, they can bring a friend or family member to the appointment and it might be worth booking a longer appointment – there can be a lot to discuss.

Benefits of formal diagnosis

Seeking a formal diagnosis is frightening, but the sooner it happens the sooner your loved one can adjust to a life with their condition. A formal diagnosis also can also open up opportunities to find support in the form of groups and therapies. 

If you find that residential care is the right option for the safety and wellbeing of your loved one, and you would like more information about our dementia care, our team is always on hand to provide you with any answers you might be looking for. You can email us any time at info@thebeeches-ixworth.co.uk, call us on 01359 230773 or use our contact form here.

You can find more information about the condition from the Alzheimer’s Society here: ​​https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia

Notes

*https://www.scie.org.uk/dementia/about/

**https://www.dementiauk.org/about-dementia/dementia-information/symptoms-of-dementia/

 

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