Next week is Dementia Awareness Week (18th – 24th May 2014). The last 12 months has seen increasing awareness of this condition thanks to increased media coverage.
The Alzheimer’s Society are working hard to support those living with the condition and their carers. They are also trying to educate people about the causes and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, which include memory loss, confusion, mood changes and difficulty with day-to-day tasks.
To find more about Dementia Awareness week visit their website.
A recent study, commissioned by the Carers trust has revealed that more than 50% of carers looking after those with dementia have not been given relevant information about incontinence as well as other issues such as correct management or medicines or legal issues.
The study also showed that more than half of these carers had problems obtaining a diagnosis for the person for whom they cared, and and nearly 70% had not received training or information about how to deal with the agitated behaviours that can develop in the latter stages of the condition.
Other key findings included:
-Over half (52%) of carers in the survey reported difficulties in obtaining a diagnosis for dementia for the person they cared for
-More than half of carers (55%) questioned said that they had not been given information on legal issues and managing money. Many had learned about Lasting Power of Attorney too late
-Many carers, particularly those caring for someone in the later stages of the illness, felt ill equipped to deal with more agitated behaviours that might develop.
-More than two-thirds 68% surveyed said they had not received training or advice on this issue
-82% of carers questioned said that caring had adversely affected their ability to work
One person surveyed said she found it very difficult to deal with her husband’s double incontinence and felt un-suppoted by local policy as she was not to provided incontinence pants and wasn’t never given information about support options.
Thea Stein, chief executive of the Carers Trust, has said that it was clear that all professionals needed a checklist of all the information and advice carers needed. This should be reviewed regularly with carers at key points of the person with dementia’s illness.
The report highlighted 7 key points when carers most needed information and support:
-When dementia is diagnosed
-When the capacity of the person with dementia declines
-When the carer needs emotional support and/or a break from caring
-When the person with dementia loses their mobility
-When the carer has to cope with behaviour problems
-When the carer’s own circumstances change
-When the person with dementia becomes incontinent
The full report can be read online here.
A new study proves the expected link between dementia and incontinence but more importantly shows that patients with dementia are three times more likely to be diagnosed with urinary incontinence, and four times more likely to be diagnosed with faecal incontinence. The new study in PLOS Medicine by Robert Grant (Kingston University and St. George’s, University of London) and colleagues compared those without a diagnosis of dementia to those patients diagnosed with the condition. Also, patients with dementia and incontinence were more likely to receive incontinence medication than those without dementia, the authors stated.
In a change to previous research a new study carried out in Sweden points to a reduction in the risk of developing dementia.
Over 3,000 people (aged 75 and over) have been covered by the study since it commenced in 1987, and results so far show that the incidence of dementia has been stable and the longevity of people with the condition has increased over the period of the study.
Several reasons are given for this why this might be happening including earlier diagnosis and , medical interventions which delay the progression of the condition.
The article can be read in full on the British Psychological Society website.