Primary care holds the key to raising quality of dementia patients' lives

A Day to Remember campaignVia Guardian Professional

In a recent article, published by Guardian Professional 24/09/12, Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia asserts that Primary care holds the key to raising quality of dementia patients’ lives.

Professor Alistair Burns says,

“Nobody knows patients and their carers better than their own GP, and as the first point of contact for people concerned about themselves or a family member colleagues in primary care are the conduits to the best possible treatment and care.”

It is essential for everyone in primary care to be informed about, and interested in, dementia and, importantly, to be aware of the help on offer by local services, such as memory clinics, that is available.

So why is the diagnosis rate still relatively low? What is preventing people from receiving a timely diagnosis?

Barriers conjured in society may be part of the answer. These include the stigma around dementia that prevents open discussion; the misunderstanding that memory problems are part of normal ageing; and the false belief that nothing can be done for those with dementia given that there is currently no cure.

The new campaign launched by the Department of Health will address these issues by improving awareness of the symptoms of dementia, conveying the fact that it is possible to live well with dementia and reinforcing that help and support is available.

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