Low rates of dementia diagnosis in Shropshire and Wrekin are leaving thousands of people without proper treatment and support, according to dementia care specialists.
Home Instead Senior Care, which has specially trained CAREGivers to support people with dementia, is urging as many members of the public as possible to join events to help make them dementia aware.
Home Instead is backing an awareness day, supported by service providers, in Broseley on Saturday September 13th. The event, held at the Birchmeadow Community Centre between 10am and 2pm, is aimed at changing the perception and understanding of Dementia within the community.
Based on national statistics, over 6,000 people in Shropshire are believed to be living without a diagnosis or proper support - with 2,000 of these vulnerable people living by themselves and especially at risk.
“People who see an older person who appears lost and confused in the street, please don’t ignore them and walk on by. They may have dementia, be very frightened and be in need of help,” said Jenny Ballantine, of Home Instead Senior Care Telford, Newport and Bridgnorth.
“Becoming dementia aware enables members of the community to recognise the symptoms and respond appropriately with help and compassion.
“Diagnosis rates for dementia cases locally is shockingly low at 43.31 per cent in Shropshire and 45.65 per cent in Telford & Wrekin, performing worse than the national average which stands at a poor 48 per cent.
“This means a large number of people in our community are not getting the treatment and the support they need and are being left in a very vulnerable position. The more people in the community, who are aware of dementia, will help to create a more supportive environment for those with the illness and the loved ones who care for them.”
Saturday’s event, coinciding with World Alzheimer’s Month, has been organised by the Broseley Practice Patients Group and is being supported by service providers and agencies including Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Shropshire Council and The Alzheimer’s Society.
There will be a series of educational and fun mini workshops aimed at all age groups, including a Japanese tea ceremony and ‘hands on’ art workshop and graffiti wall, and an opportunity to become an Alzheimer’s Society ‘Dementia Friend’.
Also attending the event is Shropshire Dementia Acton Alliance, the Carers Support Service, walking and Communtiy Together groups and Home Instead Senior Care.
Dementia is a progressive disease leading to memory loss and communication problems that can make life confusing and often stressful for sufferers and their loved ones.Dementia awareness includes an understanding of what it is like to have Dementia and how to care for people with Dementia, making it less stressful and a more positive experience