Tthe first Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Dementia Strategy Newsletter is available to download [Adobe Acrobat PDF - 356.42 KB].
We would like to thank all of you who took part in the series of workshops across the city and county between August 2009 and March 2010. We were delighted by the commitment and effort put in by so many people with dementia and their carers; people from the voluntary and independent sectors and health and social care staff.
Your contributions are being used to plan and improve local services. We will continue to update you and engage you in further decision making. This newsletter contains some information about progress following the dementia mapping workshops.
Facts about dementia
- In Nottinghamshire there are 9,700 people predicted to have dementia, however only 1/3rd of people with dementia have a formal diagnosis. By 2025 the over 65 population will go up by 50% and numbers of people with dementia in Nottinghamshire are predicted to grow to nearly 15,000
- Dementia mainly affects older people. However, it can affect younger people: there are over 200 people in Nottinghamshire under the age of 65 who have dementia.
- Dementia can affect both men and women.
What is Dementia?
‘Dementia’ is a term used to describe a number of illnesses where there is a progressive decline in multiple areas of function, these include Alzheimers disease, vascular disease, dementia with lewy bodies and fronto-temporal disease.
Symptoms of dementia include:
- Loss of memory − for example, forgetting the way home from the shops, or being unable to remember names and places, or what happened earlier the same day.
- Mood changes
- Communication problems − a decline in the ability to talk, read and write.
- Decline in reasoning
Individuals may also develop behavioural and psychological symptoms such as depression, aggression, psychosis and wandering.
In the later stages of dementia, the person affected will have problems carrying out everyday tasks, and will become increasingly dependent on other people.
Most forms of dementia cannot be cured, although research is continuing into developing drugs, vaccines and treatments. Drugs have been developed that can temporarily alleviate some of the symptoms of some types of dementia. These drugs are known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
If you are worried about yourself, or someone close to you, talk to your GP. It is very important to get a proper diagnosis. Having a diagnosis may mean it is possible to be prescribed drugs to slow down the symptoms. Diagnosis can also help you prepare and plan for the future.
What can I do to reduce the risk of developing dementia?
- Have a balanced diet - A healthy and balanced diet that enables a person to maintain a normal body weight is likely to reduce the likelihood of developing high blood pressure or heart disease, both of which put a person at greater risk of developing dementia.
- Try to stop smoking - Smoking has an extremely harmful effect on the heart, lungs and vascular system, including the blood vessels in the brain. This increases the risk of developing vascular dementia. Drink alcohol in moderation − People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol over a long period of time increase their risk of developing a form of dementia.However some research has suggested that moderate amounts of red wine, which contains antioxidants, might help to protect the brain against dementia and keep the heart and vascular system healthy.
- Stay active − Regular physical exercise helps to keep the heart and vascular system healthy. This helps to reduce a person's risk of developing vascular dementia, which is caused by problems with the circulation of blood to and around the brain.
The National Dementia Strategy
Living well with dementia: A National Dementia Strategy was published in 2009 and said that services for people with dementia needed to improve.
In Nottinghamshire a lot of work has already taken place and further work is underway to improve services for people living with dementia.
We have developed a strategy to outline progress and our local priorities based on the views of carers, people with dementia, staff delivering services and commissioners.
This strategy forms part of Improving lives in Nottinghamshire: Nottinghamshire Joint Commissioning Framework and can be seen at here.
Further information and support for people with dementia