Dementia is one of the health conditions that people are most scared of and although some feel they would prefer not to have early diagnosis; having a timely and accurate diagnosis has many positive benefits.
TextCare recognise that many people feel scared about receiving a diagnosis of dementia and the NHS Choices website say, ‘dementia is one of the health conditions that people are most frightened of ‘. Some people want to know early so that they can make plans for their future; and some would rather not know as they fear their future. Research suggests that many people wait more than a year before going to their GP and fear may play a part in this. However, one of the main barriers to receiving an early diagnosis is sadly because there is still huge stigma attached to dementia and a lack of public awareness. The primary misconception being that dementia is a natural part of aging and everyone starts to forget things as they get older. Dementia is not a natural part of getting older and it is more than just being forgetful. Dementia affects the way you speak, think, feel and behave. Later, we look at the signs and symptoms of dementia.
Early detection has many positive benefits:
Once you have a diagnosis confirmed you can participate in your own legal, financial and long-term care planning. You can also make your wishes known to your family and can plan together for your future
It allows you to choose to spend your time doing what is most important to you. This could include travel, creating memories with your children and grandchildren and taking up a hobby that you have been putting off
You can make enquiries about support that is available to you in your area. Contacting your local Alzheimer’s Society is a good place to start. They can help point you in the right direction of local support and groups that can help with shared experiences, feelings and coping strategies
It provides an explanation of symptoms you have been worrying about to you and your family. Giving everybody time to understand dementia and develop realistic expectations
Accessing treatment that can slow down or improve the progress of Dementia
When should you go to your GP
If you or someone else has noticed changes in you for around six months, then this might be an indicator that the time is right to make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss them.
These symptoms include:
1 Memory Loss that disrupts daily life
2 Challenges in planning or with solving problems
3 Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, in the work place or during leisure activities
4 Confusion with time and place
5 Trouble understanding visual images
6 New problems with words in speaking and writing
7 Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
8 Decreased or poor judgement
9 Withdrawal from work or social activities
10 Changes in mood or personality
For more information about your symptoms please click on our link to the Alzheimer’s Association - Early Detection Checklist.
If you are worried or have any concerns about any of the 10 symptoms listed above, then please make an appointment today to see a health care professional such as your GP.