Let’s Talk About Dementia

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Dementia 1Health bosses in our region are backing the ‘Let’s talk about dementia’ campaign, to encourage people to help improve the lives of those affected by dementia.

During Dementia Action Week (20-26 May) the three CCGs covering Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR)  will be working to create a dementia-friendly community where those with dementia do not feel excluded.

Dementia isn’t just about memory loss, it’s a syndrome which affects people’s brain function. This can have an impact on a person’s memory and thinking speed as well as, mood, understanding, dexterity and vision. People living with dementia can often feel quite isolated and lonely, so it’s really important that you speak with anyone in your life with dementia to ensure they feel supported.

  • If you have any concerns about your memory, make an appointment with your GP who will assess you and perform blood tests and a test to check your memory.
  • The GP will then either reassure you (if all tests including memory are normal and arrange a follow up if appropriate) or refer you to the memory clinic for further assessment. If dementia is diagnosed at the memory clinic, support will be provided by the memory clinic (medications or follow up and referral to a support group).

Although there is no cure for dementia, there are several medications and therapies that can lessen the symptoms of the syndrome. We want to ensure that people living with dementia are aware of all the options they have to help them. With the proper treatment and support, people living with dementia can lead fulfilling lives.

Local woman living well with dementia thanks to early diagnosis

A Leicester woman with dementia is highlighting the importance of getting the right help early on to people experiencing memory problems.

Irene Woodward (68) was forgetting daily tasks and routines on a regular basis and knew something was wrong. She took early action by making an appointment with her GP and is now living well with dementia thanks to an early diagnosis.In an inspiring short video launched by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) to mark Dementia Action Week (20-26 May 2019),

Irene talks of her dementia journey and how she has maintained her independence.Irene said: “If you are having memory problems and have dementia an early diagnosis will help you keep it in the early stages.

“Eight out of 10 people I talk to either have or know somebody who has dementia. Normally you find that one of their relatives or friends has got it.I was terrified at first but my life hasn’t stopped and it won’t. I’ve been on a lot of holidays to actually experience going away and seeing how I could cope on my own. I’ve also become a befriender for someone else with dementia who is much more advanced than me and I love it.

“Don’t be afraid, you know it will get worse if you don’t get help. You can’t make it go away but you can help it.”

In the UK, one person develops dementia every three minutes and in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland there are more than 13,000 people living with dementia. This figure is expected to rise in the coming years.

Dr Girish Purohit, local GP at East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Dementia Lead for LLR, added: “For many people, the person living with dementia will be their close relative, friend, or indeed themselves. It is really important for them to see their GP if they suspect they have dementia.“Irene’s journey is truly inspiring and shows that an early diagnosis can help people to live well with the condition.”

Irene’s dementia journey

Events will be taking place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland during Dementia Action Week. Find an event near you.

  • For more information on dementia including how to get support visit the Alzheimer's Society website.
  • For more information on dementia visit the NHS website.
  • The National Dementia Helpline can offer one-to-one advice and support on 0300 222 11 22.