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article imageNeed for improved awareness of symptoms of dementia

By Tim Sandle     Jul 27, 2015 in Health
London - The number of people admitted to hospital, and who show signs of dementia, has increased within the U.K. in recent years. This has triggered calls for better recognition of the condition.
A new study from Public Health England has found that the proportion of people with dementia who are admitted to hospital in an emergency has increased by 48 percent between 2008 and 2013. Of these admissions, about one-fifth were related to preventable acute conditions, such as urinary system infections, pneumonia and respiratory infections.
While these cases were dealt with, health agencies have recognized that more needs to be done to train health professionals in relation to spotting signs of dementia. Globally, dementia affects 36 million people and there is around a one in 10 chance of someone developing the incurable condition.
Dementia is defined by the Alzheimer’s Society as: “The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or a series of strokes.”
In relation to provision by healthcare workers in the U.K., areas for improvement have been identified as:
Proactive management of long terms mental health conditions;
First stage intervention for acute conditions, in order to prevent more serious progression;
Putting in place slips, trips and falls initiatives;
Targeting initiatives at older people with dementia in the community;
Reviewing the provision of care for people with dementia.
Commenting on these new considerations, Dr Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia at NHS England, noted: “Our aim is that every person with dementia gets the best treatment and they, their families and carers get the best high quality support following the diagnosis.”
An early diagnosis of dementia can assist people to obtain the suitable treatment and support. It also helps those close to them to prepare for the future. If diagnosed early enough, then with appropriate treatment and support, many people can continue to lead active and fulfilled lives.
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