Hospital to raise awareness of dementia

Health / Fri 18th Oct 2013 am31 10:15am

PRINCESS Alexandra Hospital will be the venue for a week of events to promote Dementia Awareness Week.

From Monday, the hospital will set up a number of information stands in the foyer which will be available to staff, patients, carers and the public.

The Dementia Friendly Communities Committee and the North Essex Partnership Foundation Trust will also be running information stands while various departments within the hospital will be organising events.

During the week there will be a series of academic lectures and seminars for hospital staff as well as a dementia awareness session run by the Alzheimer’s Society.

The PAH trust plans to use the week to launch the use of its ‘This is me’ tool which provides information about the person with dementia and can help health and social care professionals build a better understanding of the patient.

‘This is me’ will be used with all PAH patients suffering from dementia and it will be promoted for use in the wider community.

Did you know dementia affects 800,000 people in the UK; it is one of the main causes of disability later in life ahead of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

· Dementia describes different brain disorders which trigger a loss of brain function. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia affecting 62% of those diagnosed. These conditions grow worse overtime and are eventually severe affecting the person’s ability to remember, understand, communicate and reason.

Busting the myths

1. Dementia is a natural part of ageing: Dementia is more common in people over the age of 65 and it is true that some of us do become more forgetful as we get older. Dementia is a different sort of forgetfulness; the Alzheimer’s Society explain “many of us may momentarily forget a friend’s name but if you have dementia you may forget you’ve ever met them before”.

2. Only older people can get Alzheimer’s: Alzheimer’s can affect people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s; this is called younger onset Alzheimer’s

3. Memory loss is the only effect of dementia: Dementia starts by affecting people’s memory, but it can also affect the way they think, speak and do things.

4. It’s impossible to live well with dementia: It is true that people with dementia may find it difficult to do certain things; but many people continue to drive, socialise and work. People often continue to socialise with friend s and relationships as wells maintaining hobbies. There are also some medications that may help with some types of dementia


· This year a national CQUIN focusing on dementia is looking at improving the identification of people who may have signs of dementia. We can achieve this by asking all people admitted to hospital over the age of 65 the dementia screening question: “Has the person been more forgetful over the last 12 months to the extent that it has significantly affected their daily life?”

· If the answer to the question is yes; we need to ensure that an assessment takes place; this is achieved by undertaking the abbreviated mini mental test. If a patient scores 8 or less, we must identify the outcome on the patient’s discharge summary that is sent to the GP who can then ensure that referral takes place.

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