Dementia Awareness Week is an annual campaign led by Alzheimer’s Society, which runs this year from 14 to 20 May. The campaign encourages the public to unite to raise awareness of the condition, to offer help to those affected by it, to increase understanding of it and to help urgently find a cure.
Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases such as Alzheimer’s or a series of strokes. The symptoms of dementia may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour. In the later stages, a person may develop physical symptoms such as muscle weakness or weight loss. Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms gradually get worse over time.
Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer, says Alzheimer's Society - a charity providing support and research for those affected by dementia. In the UK, there are about 800,000 people with dementia and it is estimated that around 400,000 people have dementia without knowing it. It is therefore a disease which is likely to affect us all. By raising awareness about this condition, it is hoped that more people will be diagnosed earlier, giving more time for them to come to terms with future symptoms and seek treatment that might improve their quality of life for longer.
Commenting on Dementia Awareness Week 2017, Lucie Prothero, senior associate in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches, said: “As the population in the UK gets older and larger, greater numbers of us will be affected by dementia, and the implications of this are significant – both at a personal and social level.
“We continue to receive enquiries from families of dementia sufferers who are distressed about a lack of, or failures in, the care of their loved-ones in terms of community or hospital-based care. This may often be rooted in staff shortages and chronic health and social care under-funding. In some cases this can lead to devastating events for dementia sufferers, such as serious falls, pressure sores, dehydration and malnourishment. Given the likely wide-reaching impact of dementia on all of us in the UK, we fully support the message of Alzheimer’s Society to #UniteAgainstDementia and to ensure that taking care of those affected by dementia remains a priority.”
For more information on elderly care claims and hospital falls, click here.