Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Proper Alzheimer's diagnosis gives right care

MIGHT your readers be concerned – as I am – that thousands of people with dementia in Northern Ireland are still not getting diagnosed?

New figures report that, across Northern Ireland, only 63% of people with dementia ever get a diagnosis – an increase of less than 1% on last year.

Belfast is the best-performing trust, with more than two-thirds of people getting a diagnosis. But there is considerable variation between trusts. In the Northern Trust, just over half of people with dementia get a diagnosis.

Not having a diagnosis is like setting out on a long, hazardous journey in the dark, without the benefit of a map, or a co-driver.

Diagnosis is the first step to getting the support, information and care that make it possible to live well with dementia and plan for the future.

Bringing all areas up to Belfast's standard would mean that 2,000 more people with dementia and their families would get information, care and support.

I would urge any readers who are worried about their own memory, or that of someone close to them, to find out more at www.alzheimers.org.uk/memory worry, but also visit their GP. I'm 51 and early diagnosis got me the best medication and medical team, helping me to maintain my sanity and independence.

For me and my family, feeling safe and maintaining different activities every day hopefully will slow down the Alzheimer's.

LIZ CUNNINGHAM

Belfast

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz