What dementia means to me
21st September 2020 - 5:17 PM
Haxby Group GP Dr Andrew Jennings explains what dementia means to him in his latest blog for World Alzheimer’s Week.
“Nearly all of us will know someone who has been affected by dementia. It is never too early to talk about dementia and about you, or your loved ones’, future care.
The importance of this was especially highlighted to me personally, as when my wife’s grandparents were finally diagnosed with dementia, they have denied and hidden their symptoms for some time and had unfortunately reached the stage where they were unable to care for each other safely at home. They had not previously discussed future care preferences with family and it became more challenging to understand their wishes.
Dementia doesn’t just mean memory problems, it may also include difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. It often has a gradual onset making it difficult for people to identify it in themselves or their loved ones. If you have any concerns about your or a family members memory or suspicion of dementia the best thing to do is speak to your GP.
Early identification and diagnosis is very important, as some types of dementia can be prevented by managing risk factors such as diabetes and blood pressure. There are also medications that can help to slow the progression of certain type of dementia. At Haxby Group we also have a dedicated team to assess patients with mild memory problems to ensure they have optimal medical care and try to delay the onset of dementia.
If you do receive a diagnosis of dementia the practice is here to support you with yearly reviews of your health and medications. We also have a team who look to reach those who struggle or are unable to attend the surgery for reviews. It is often important to involve family as together we can discuss where and how you would want to be cared for in the future and ensuring person-centred care.