How much do you know about dementia?

Less than half of people in Wales feel they have a good understanding of dementia. Alzheimer's Society is trying to change that.

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Alzheimer's Society: There's a 'desperate shortage' of support for people with dementia

The Alzheimer's Society are calling for more help to ensure no-one in Wales is denied access to information and support, following a diagnosis of dementia.

The charity's 'Right to Know' campaign is also calling for a higher dementia diagnosis rate across Wales, and a guarantee that everyone has access to a Dementia Adviser or equivalent, following a diagnosis.

Many people in Wales face daily challenges whilst living with dementia. It's disgraceful to think nearly two thirds of them have an added fight, to get a diagnosis.

Everyone with dementia has a right to know. To have access to the certainty of a diagnosis and the right support to come to terms with and manage the condition should not depend on your postcode.

– Sue Phelps, Director of Alzheimer's Society in Wales

Calls for more support to help people with dementia

97 per cent of people surveyed by the Alzheimer's Society said the Government should do more to support people with a diagnosis Credit: PA

The Alzheimer's Society is calling for better support to help people with dementia.

The charity, which are launching its 'Right to Know' campaign today, says there is a desperate shortage of support for people with the condition.

A poll carried out by the charity, found one in five people affected by dementia are given no information or support after their diagnosis.

The campaign aims to ensure people with the condition get a diagnosis, as well as access to vital information, support, and available treatments.

More than 45,000 people are currently living with dementia in Wales.

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Welsh scientists lead the fight against dementia

A new approach aims to accelerate research. Credit: Daniel Karmann/DPA/PA Images

Cardiff scientists are heading up a £16 million programme to detect, treat and prevent dementia.

They will lead the Medical Research Council's new UK Dementia Research Platform (UKDP).

It will examine not just what is going wrong in the brain but at the brain in the context of the whole body.

"We know that neurodegeneration can be linked to changes taking place in other parts of the body seemingly unrelated to the brain and many years before dementia is diagnosed."

Dr John Gallacher Cardiff University School of Medicine

UKPD brings together industry expertise and investigators from eight universities and teaming them with what they say will be the world's largest group of participants in dementia research (more than two million people)

Dementia review a 'wake up call' says charity

Alzheimer's Society in Wales says there needs to be a 'step change' in the way dementia services are commissioned in Wales. Sue Phelps, the charity's director, says preventative services can be a "lifeline" for people with dementia and their carers.

This review is a wake-up call. It has long been recognised that health and social care must be better integrated, but recognition is one thing and delivering much needed change is another.

We work closely with local authorities and health boards and understand the pressures they are under financially, but we need to make sure money spent on services for people with dementia is used effectively. We must ensure there is enough funding in the system to allow us to protect the most vulnerable.

– Sue Phelps, director Alzheimer's Society in Wales

Current dementia arrangements 'not sustainable'

The CSSIW review into dementia care took place between July 2013 and January this year. As part of the review, the inspectorate visited five local authorities to look at how well services for people with dementia and their carers was being commissioned.

The report found:

  • significant gaps in the planning and provision of prevention and early intervention services
  • the commissioning of preventative services from the third sector is ad hoc
  • a need for greater focus on the quality of care and people's quality of life when monitoring service contracts.

By 2021, the number of people with dementia across Wales is projected to increase by 31% and by as much as 44% in some rural areas.

Local authorities and health boards must increase the pace at which they are transforming services to deliver integrated models of care that will effectively support people with dementia and their carers.

The report identifies that the current arrangements for commissioning services are not sustainable in the face of projected future demands and financial pressures.

– Imelda Richardson, CSSIW Chief Inspector

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'Major changes' needed in dementia provision

The review took place between July 2013 and January 2014 Credit: Daniel Karmann/DPA

Major changes need to be made in the way dementia services are planned and commissioned in Wales, according to a report from the Care and Social Service Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW).

The report found that there are 'significant gaps' in the planning and provision of early intervention services and there is a need for 'greater focus' on the quality of care provided by local authorities and health boards.

Healthy lifestyle could help reduce risk of dementia

Living a healthy lifestyle could dramatically reduce the risk of developing dementia - according to a major piece of new research. A study of more than two thousand middle-aged men in Caerphilly found the risk can be cut by 60 percent.

Exercise was the key factor but cutting out on drinking alcohol and smoking, as well as eating more healthy food could also have a huge impact. Our correspondent Carole Green reports.

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