Published on 15 December 2017 02:47 PM
Dementia is an increasingly important issue.
We all know someone who has been affected by it: a relative, friend or neighbour. It also affects more and more of us each year. A recent report by the Alzheimer’s Society found that at the current estimated rate of prevalence, there will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK in 2015. They found the number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051.
Currently in North Tyneside 7% of people aged over 65 and 24% of people aged over 85 have dementia. The number of people with dementia aged over 65 is expected to increase by 53% between 2014 and 2030 in North Tyneside. These figures demonstrate the importance of everybody understanding dementia and how you can get help if you are concerned.
What are the signs of dementia?
You can have memory problems for a number of reasons. Most of us, at one time or other, have forgotten our keys or where we have put something. Often these instances are just a nuisance rather than something serious. However it is important to speak to your GP if you begin to have concerns about your memory, as memory problems can be a sign of a medical condition, such as dementia.
Dementia affects everyone in different ways, but common symptoms include:
- memory loss, especially problems with memory for recent events, such as forgetting messages, remembering routes or names, and asking questions repetitively
- increasing difficulties with tasks and activities that require organisation and planning
- becoming confused in unfamiliar environments
- difficulty finding the right words
- difficulty with numbers or handling money in shops
- changes in personality and mood
If you are worried about your memory you should go to speak to your GP. The earlier you seek help, the earlier you can get information and support. You GP will listen to your concerns and possibly refer you for further investigations and support.
What help is available for people with dementia in North Tyneside?
In North Tyneside there is help and support available for people with dementia and the people who care for them. Some of these services include:
- Memory Support Service- this service provides information and support for people with dementia and their carers throughout their dementia journey
- Linskill Park Wellbeing Centre- specialist day opportunities for people with dementia provided by Age UK North Tyneside
- North Shields Singing Group and Forest Hall Singing Group - for people with dementia, supported by the Alzheimer’s Society
- Coffee Morning- a social group for carers of people with dementia run by North Tyneside Carers Centre
How can Age UK North Tyneside help people with dementia?
Age UK North Tyneside is working very hard to improve services for people with dementia across North Tyneside. They provide Linskill Park Wellbeing Centre which supports over 80 people with dementia every week. They also provide specialist professional care and support for people with dementia. In addition they have recently entered into partnership with Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing. Together they are working to develop innovative new services to support people with dementia and their carers. Isabel Owens, their new Service Design Manager, is working on this project and is speaking to people with dementia and their carers, across North Tyneside to find out what support would make their lives easier. She will be working with the University to develop these ideas into new services.