A recent study published by the Alzheimer’s Society and Tesco shows Cambridgeshire lagging behind in its diagnosis of dementia compared to other counties and health authorities. This may have worrying implications for access to dementia care in Cambridge and the county, now and in the future.
The study titled Mapping the Dementia Gap¹ ranks each local health area based on the estimated number of dementia cases in the area and those dementia cases with a formal diagnosis. Using this data, Cambridgeshire is ranked 127 out of 169 areas in diagnosing dementia.
The study reveals that out of an estimated 7,280 dementia cases in the county only 2,682 are currently diagnosed. With the UK’s ageing population this figure is estimated to rise to 6,749 undiagnosed cases in the county in 2021.
Mike Francis, owner of Home Instead Senior Care’s Cambridge office, says that a case of undiagnosed dementia can have serious effects on individuals and their families. “Without a formal diagnosis people affected by dementia can often miss out on support and benefits available to those who do have a diagnosis.
I’d advise anyone with concerns over a family member or close colleague to seek advice and support. The Alzheimer’s Society in Cambridge² is a good starting point. They hold informal Coffee Morning Drop Ins on Mondays and Wednesdays at St Columbas Church Hall, off Downing Street. They welcome anyone to drop in and have a one to one talk about concerns.”
Mike’s company, Home Instead, offers dementia care in Cambridge in people’s own homes, tailoring its service to each individual. “We offer care, home help and companionship to individuals and families affected by dementia in Cambridge. We give clients and their families the opportunity to lead independent lives, where some assistance or respite goes a long way to helping people remain in their own homes. We’ve also helped GPs make a formal dementia diagnosis, where our work evidences dementia, which otherwise is missed or concealed in routine appointments.
We’re able to provide tailored dementia care at home as our Caregivers undergo specialist training. We draw on the resources across the city and a number of our Caregivers recently attended a very practical session delivered by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.”
While the Dementia Gap is forecast to widen, there are resources and support available for anyone affected and a wide range of dementia care in Cambridge and surrounding areas. The link below to the Alzheimer’s Society in Cambridge and surrounding areas is a good starting point for anyone looking for support and advice.
¹ Mapping the Dementia Gap
Study produced by Tesco, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland, 1 March 2011
² The Alzheimer’s Society - Cambridge