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Dementia: Find out what help and support is available

NHS chiefs at NHS East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are advising local residents to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of dementia and what support and treatment is currently available.

With Dementia Awareness Week (May 14-20) commencing this week, and as dementia is projected to be the biggest killer in the 21st century, NHS chiefs are taking the opportunity to educate local residents about dementia. Part of this effort goes to making sure those diagnosed with the condition do not feel alone because plenty of support is available.

Dementia consists of a number of symptoms, which are a result of damage to the brain. Those diagnosed with the condition will experience a variety of symptoms, including: memory loss, difficulty finding the correct words, changes in personality and depression.

There is currently no cure for dementia but there are several drugs and therapies that can help to lessen the impact of the symptoms. Those diagnosed with dementia will be prescribed one of a number of medications, which can help reduce anxiety, improvements in memory and concentration, and an improved ability to carry out daily activities, such as shopping and dressing.

Not only this, there are many talking therapies available, including counselling, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). These therapies encourage people to talk about their feelings and how these feelings affect their behaviours and moods.

Dr Rakesh Sharma clinical lead at the CCGs said: “Dementia Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the condition, it is important to educate people on the symptoms of dementia and to ensure those who are diagnosed with the condition are given the appropriate treatment.

“Dementia care has changed significantly over recent years, thanks to the treatments now available, dementia is a condition patients can learn to live with.

“I would advise anyone experiencing symptoms of dementia to visit their GP immediately.” 

For more information on dementia visit the Healthy Minds, www.eastlancsdementia.org.orgwww.alzheimers.org.uk, www.bwdcarers.org.uk/alzheimers-society-carers-support-group, NHS Choices website, or if you need someone to talk to call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22.

For more advice on dementia, visit your GP who will be able to talk you through the most suitable options for you and what to expect if the condition escalates.