Posted on September 25, 2013

Call for dementia focus on early diagnosis

There have been calls for dementia funding to be focused on ensuring that diagnosis takes place as early as possible to ensure that sufferers get the support that they need as soon as possible. Early diagnosis is essential for good dementia care and it is also deemed to be essential to remove some of the myths about dementia; the belief that the confusion of dementia is just a part of getting older needs to be stopped.  The condition can be managed even if it cannot be cured; however, the longer the diagnosis takes, the harder this is. It is widely considered that only half those who have the condition have been formally diagnosed.  A target has been set to improve diagnosis rates by 20% before 2015, as support and advice are being lost to those who have not had a formal diagnosis. A diagnosis will allow sufferers to access the dementia care they need and the medications that can halt the progression of the disease; in addition, some care at home services are available to allow people to be independent in their own home for longer.  The diagnosis is actually a relief for those who have been experiencing confusion, as they are able to make sense of everything that has been happening. As part of this early diagnosis focus, home care professionals want more training for medical professionals in understanding the condition better.  This includes doctors, hospital nurses and community nurses.  Money can be saved on later treatment by focusing on early diagnosis, as the condition will be more easily managed.
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