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Dementia on the brain

It’s Dementia Awareness Week and with around 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia, we wanted to share with you a few facts and signpost to some useful resources. Did you know for example that:

  • dementia is more common among women than men
  • it affects over 17,000 younger people (under the age of 65)
  • the proportion of people with dementia doubles for every 5 year age group
  • one third of people over 95 have dementia
  • there are 670,000 carers of people with dementia in the UK
  • only 44% of people with dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive a diagnosis.*

* statistics provided by the Alzheimer’s Society

 Dementia is characterised by a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. It is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes.

There is no certain way to prevent dementia and there is no way of knowing if you will be affected by it but there are some steps you can take to help lower the risk of developing it when you are older. The NHS suggests taking the following steps:

  • eat a healthy diet
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • exercise regularly
  • do not drink too much alcohol
  • stop smoking (if you smoke)
  • make sure you keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

Dementia is a common illness that affects carers and relatives as much as the individual themselves and it is important to get as much help as possible, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. If you or someone you know is affected by dementia, organisations such as Alzhemier’s Sociey and Dementia UK can provide useful information and direct you to local support groups. Here at Pharmacist Support we can offer advice on benefit entitlement and employment law, as well as financial assistance. Our Listening Friends are also on hand to provide support over the phone. There is a lot that can be done to enable someone with dementia to live well with the condition. Check out the following sites for further information:

Alzheimer’s Society http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

NHS Choices http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dementia-guide/Pages/dementia-prevention.aspx

Food for the Brain http://www.foodforthebrain.org/alzheimers-prevention.aspx

Dementia Carers http://www.dementiacarer.net/

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