As part of World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September), Telford and Wrekin CCG are encouraging local residents to look out for the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.
There are currently estimated to be at least 46 million people worldwide living with dementia. The number of people affected is set to rise to more than 131 million by 2050.
In order to combat this, local health chiefs are encouraging people to spot the signs of Alzheimer’s and to remember loved ones who are living with the disease. People living with Alzheimer’s can be scared, confused and lonely so it’s essential to spot the early symptoms in order to help those living with the disease access help and support as soon as possible.
Early symptoms to look out for:
- Forgetting about recent conversations or events, misplacing items and forgetting the names of places and objects
- Repeating themselves regularly, such as asking the same question several times
- Showing poor judgement or finding it harder to make decisions
- Becoming less flexible and more hesitant to try new things
Dr Jo Leahy, Chair of NHS Telford and Wrekin CCG, said: “There is a stigma associated with Alzheimer’s as well as the belief that the early symptoms are a part of normal ageing, however this couldn’t be further from the truth – Alzheimer’s is not simply ‘old age’ and is in fact a progressive and fatal disease. This misunderstanding is part of the reason why raising awareness is so important.”
“The number of people living with Alzheimer’s is set to rapidly increase, and even though the disease mainly affects people over the age of 65 there are over 17,000 people in the UK under 65 who are living with the disease. As a community, we need to support everyone experiencing Alzheimer’s whether that may be those suffering or their friends, family and carers.”
If anyone is experiencing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s they should visit their GP for further help and support.
To take the first step and learn more about Alzheimer’s read the NHS Choices Alzheimer’s website.