A recent survey carried out by Alzheimer’s Society shows that the number of people with dementia in Oxfordshire is set to increase by 38 per cent in the next 10 years. Similarly in East Berkshire the figure is to rise by 35 per cent in the next decade.
With 750,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK, the study shows that this number is set to rise significantly within the decade. Results suggest that while it was estimated that there were 7427 people with dementia living in Oxfordshire in 2010, by 2021 this number will have reached 10241 and it was estimated that there were 3900 people with dementia living in East Berkshire in 2010, by 2021 this number will have reached 5271.
Dementia Awareness Week will take place 20th – 26th May, an annual campaign, helping to raise awareness and understanding of dementia. Paul Westgarth, owner of Home Instead Senior Care who specialise in the care of older people in their own homes across the area, is particularly passionate about helping to delay the onset of dementia for older people in the area. Paul is keen to make people aware of the importance of keeping an eye out for the early warning signs of the disease, and has a valuable insight into the reason why many people are sometimes reluctant to get help.
Paul comments: “Time and time again, we speak to people who are struggling and don’t know which way to turn. Often our clients feel too proud to admit they are not coping or have decided that their forgetfulness is ‘just part of getting older’. Partners too can be put under an awful lot of strain and some feel extremely guilty about asking for help. However spotting the early warning signs can be hugely important!”
“As we visit older people in the area, we ensure all of our CAREGivers are perfectly equipped to help dementia sufferers in every way they can. This involves training our team in specialised communication skills as well as ensuring they are perfectly equipped to spot the early warning signs. Early warning signs include: a decline in memory such as forgetting names of friends or familiar objects, a decline in reasoning and communication skills, feeling angry or upset about being forgetful and the gradual loss of skills needed to carry out daily activities.”
Paul continues: “There is a lot of help available in the area, both for people with dementia and their carers. If anyone suspects that they or a loved one may be developing dementia, we recommend that they should first speak to a GP as soon as possible.”
Home Instead is helping out with the local Alzheimer’s Dementia Support group’s activities, so if you are in Maidenhead High Street stop by for a chat with them at the newly reopened Alzheimer’s Dementia Support shop.