Backed by the Department of Health, the Alzheimer’s Society’s “Worried About Your Memory?” campaign prompts and helps people to consider if their forgetfulness, or that of a friend or relative, is due to just poor memory or the beginning of a medical problem and encourage them to seek medical advice.
The Department of Health has provided £500,000 to fund the Worried About Your Memory? Campaign, under their National Dementia Strategy for England, to make available advice and information leaflets, booklets and posters at every GP practice in England.
Every GP in England will also be given a diagnostic tool in the form of a CD Rom to help inform and support their diagnosis decisions and to help support patients and their families following a positive diagnosis. According to a recent study by the National Audit Office, only 30 per cent of GP’s feel that they have enough basic information and training to diagnose and manage dementia.
Neil Hunt, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, says:
Dementia is one of the greatest health challenges confronting our society as we face an ageing population. Yet there is an acute lack of awareness and understanding of dementia amongst the public, including those who are affected by it, as well as those in health and community services.
By encouraging people who are worried about their memory problems to seek medical advice sooner than they might have done, we hope more people with dementia can get important practical, emotional and medical care early on, giving them a greater chance to live life as well and as fully as possible.
Anyone concerned about their memory, or that of a friend of relative, should speak to their GP or contact Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Helpline – 0845 300 0336 (8.30am-6.30pm, Monday to Friday) which is staffed by trained advisers. There is plenty of advice on the website www.alzheimers.org.uk, including the Worried about your Memory? leaflet (PDF).