This September is World Alzheimerâ€™s Month, and NHS Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are showing their support by highlighting the symptoms and challenging the stigma around dementia.
Dementia affects over 50 million people worldwide, with a new case occurring every three seconds. Although there are over 100 different types of dementia, Alzheimerâ€™s is the most common type of dementia in the UK.
The symptoms of Alzheimerâ€™s can include:
- Memory loss
- Speech difficulties
- Difficulty performing routine and daily tasks
- Mood and personality changes
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there)
- Delusions (believing things that are untrue).
Studies show that 2 out of 3 people feel their country does not have enough understanding of Alzheimerâ€™s, leading to a lot of misconceptions and stigma.
Alzheimerâ€™s Awareness Month gives people the opportunity to talk about their experiences, and to promote the facts about the condition.
Dr Anand Rischie, local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)Â said:Â â€œAn estimated 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementiaÂ so, we want to encourage everyone to look out for symptoms in their friends and families. It can be easy to dismiss memory problems as just being a part of getting older, it can also be difficult to recognise the early signs.
â€œLifestyle, family history and age can increase the risk of Alzheimerâ€™s. If you have any concerns, please contact your GP for advice. Getting an accurate and early diagnosis can help you prepare for the future and help manage symptoms.
â€œWe encourage everyone to challenge the misconceptions around Alzheimerâ€™s. Now is the time to start an open conversation to combat stigma and raise awareness.â€
If you think you or a loved one may be experiencing dementia symptoms, donâ€™t delay speaking to your GP. The NHS is still here for you and a health professional can chat to you via a telephone or online consultation.
For more information and additional support, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/alzheimers-disease/ or call the Alzheimerâ€™s Societyâ€™s Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456.