A £2 million campaign has been launched by the Department of Health to raise awareness about Dementia.
The TV advert tells the story of a daughter as she becomes aware that her dad is struggling in a number of situations, such as leaving pans on the hob and forgetting where his car is parked. While accepting it was a hard issue to raise with him, the message is that acting on her concerns and getting help means she can keep the dad she knows for longer.
It is estimated that every general hospital has excess costs of £6 million because of dementia, due to the worse outcomes for length of stay, mortality and institutionalisation. In hip fracture alone, better management of patients who also have dementia could save between £64 million and £102 million in England every year.
The campaign was successfully piloted in the North West and Yorkshire & Humber NHS Regions in March this year. Among those adults aged 40+ who saw or heard the campaign:
- there was a higher incidence of those who said they would go to their GP if they experienced any symptoms or ask a close relative or friend to do so; and
- among all adults aged 40+ there was a significant increase in those believing that the earlier that dementia is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat the symptoms, and that with the right treatment the symptoms can be slowed down.
The National Audit Office estimates that, nationally, dementia costs health and social care services £8.2 billion per year. Alzheimer's Research UK have estimated that the overall cost of dementia to society as a whole is £23 billion per annum. It is estimated that savings of £80 million could be made every year by improving hospital care for people with dementia.
In a survey carried out for the Department of Health, only around a third of adults aged over 40 agreed that they understand the differences between normal signs of ageing and signs of dementia, and close to a third of adults aged over 40 thought there was no support available for people with dementia.
In his latest video blog, Alistair Burns - National Clinical Director for Dementia talks about the role a new dementia awareness campaign is playing in helping people spot the early signs of dementia.
To view the TV advert click here
The following are symptoms of dementia and if people are concerned about themselves or someone else they should speak to their GP:
- struggling to remember recent events, although you can easily recall things that happened in the past?
- finding it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV?
- forgetting the names of friends or everyday objects
- cannot recall things you have heard, seen or read
- repeating yourself or losing the thread of what you are saying
- having problems thinking and reasoning
- feeling anxious, depressed or angry about your memory loss
- finding that other people start to comment on your memory loss
- feeling confused even when in a familiar environment.
To find out more information about dementia visit www.nhs.uk/dementia/Pages/dementia.aspx or speak to your GP if you are concerned.
Download the campaign leaflet
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