Friends and family of older people in Northampton are being urged by health leaders at NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to look out for the early symptoms of Alzheimers so they can benefit from the support that is available.
The plea is being made during World Alzheimer's Month, September 2016, which is all about encouraging people to learn to spot the signs of Alzheimers and to remember loved ones who are living with Alzheimer's, or those who may have passed away.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease.
Over a third of people over 65 will develop dementia and an estimated 21m people in England have a close friend or family with the condition.
Early symptoms include memory loss, difficulty in performing everyday tasks, and problems with language. Other signs include disorientation about time and place, poor or decreased judgement, and problems with keeping track of things. Symptoms also include misplacing things, changes in mood or behaviour, changes in personality, and loss of initiative.
Many people see dementia as a normal consequence of ageing and don't come forward for the help and support that's available. Recognising the symptoms is the first step towards getting a diagnosis that can reduce the anxiety of people with dementia and their family.
If you are worried about your memory or think you may have dementia, then contact your GP Practice as soon as possible. There are treatments and support available and the earlier dementia is diagnosed, the better you can be supported to maintain your independence.
People who have concerns about Alzheimer's disease or about any other form of dementia, can call the Alzheimer's Society National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 1122 for information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations.