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Dementia

Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group is committed to increasing the awareness of dementia and improving the experience and outcomes of people living with dementia and their families and carers, and we work closely with our local Alzheimer's Society team to support this work across the district.

 

We also work with member GP practices across the district supporting them to become Dementia Friendly. This involves signing up to the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) and submitting an action plan. Individual action plans can be viewed on Wakefield and Five Towns Dementia Action Alliance website. 30 out of our 38 GP practices are now Dementia Friendly.

 

The below text provides some insightful information around dementia, along with some useful links.

 

What is dementia?

The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.

 

Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Different types of dementia affect the brain at different rates and in different ways, but other things like someone's personal circumstances, the people around them and the environment in which they live, will affect their experience of dementia.

 

Dementia progresses in a way that is unique to each individual. The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.  The most common is Alzheimer's but this isn’t the only one as diseases also include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies and Pick disease.

 

Is dementia just part of getting old?

It is true that more people over 65 have dementia but it is not exclusively an older person's disease; younger people get dementia too.

 

Although age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, there is a huge difference between dementia and just getting older:

Getting old = forgetting where your keys are

Dementia = forgetting what your keys are for.


There is more to the person than the dementia.