Dementia awareness campaign

In this video Alistair talks about how the dementia awareness campaign is highlighting the importance of an early diagnosis.

In the video Alistair mentions:

  • Only 40% of people with dementia receive a formal diagnosis
  • early diagnosis is key to treating dementia
  • awareness helps to decrease stigma
  • getting checked may identify easily treatable problems not associated with dementia
  • the dementia campaign is a 6 week campaign on TV, radio and shown in GP surgeries
  • recent statistics by the Information Centre show that 94% of Primary Care Trusts have memory services with spending increasing by 22% over the previous year
  • People referred to memory services has increased by 57% in the last year
  • The awareness campaign has the potential to encourage people to come forward to seek help, to raise awareness and to reduce stigma.


In Alistair Burns' blog, Campaigns, Raising awareness | Tagged ,

3 Responses to Dementia awareness campaign

  1. Dr AF Hackett says:

    Whilst applauding the current dementia awareness campaign – I do hope that there is a parallel campaign for GPs. My family’s experience suggests that not all GPs are proactive in the early stages. An example – when my relative began to show obvious signs of cognition ‘problems’ he was finally persuaded to visit his GP with two family members. The staggering comment of the GP was “I do not understand what you want me to do”. the interview was quite literally a waste of time. However once Social Services became involved, when things had progressed to his behaviour being hazardous, much very valuable help and support was forthcoming. I feel much anxiety could have been avoided. Dementia is not, alas, an uncommon problem the care pathways and support available should be very clearly identified at the earliest opportunity. Finally, although quite rightly care focuses on the needs of the victim, little attention is given to the needs of the family and neighbours etc at the least this is very bad economics. If as professional people we had difficulty in finding a route though the morass we had entered it must be so much worse for those lacking our resources.

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  3. Anon says:

    I’m really pleased that there’s an awareness raising campaign to educate people about the symptoms of dementia and where to go for help. However, I think this campaign overlooks those people with dementia who are in denial about their symptoms which in itself may be a symptom of the illness.

    Family and friends can’t force someone to visit their GP if they do not believe they are unwell. When you spot signs for concern but can’t do anything about them to help the person with the symptoms it can lead to frustration and helplessness.

    It sounds like it isn’t actually the person with dementia that goes to get a diagnosis alone but rather due to the intervention of family, friends, GP reception staff etc, so perhaps there should be an emphasis on what these people should do to enable the person you care about to see their GP as it isn’t as simple as discussing or suggesting it in my experience.

    This also has to be balanced with the fact that if someone is in denial perhaps they aren’t ready for a diagnosis, which could leave them feeling scared for the future and isolated.

    It’s a really difficult tightrope to walk as you want the person you care for to get help as early as possible but if admitting there’s a problem is going to be detrimental for their own mental wellbeing then perhaps all you can do is monitor the situation, enjoy the present and reassess things further down the line hoping there’s still time to delay the illness and plan for the future.

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