Mar 21

Many Dementia Patients Wait Years For Diagnosis


There is a huge disparity between the care of dementia sufferers around the country, with people in some areas having to wait years to be given a diagnosis.

The Alzheimer’s Society revealed research that looked at dementia detection across England and found many GPs are reluctant to give elderly people a label and, therefore, fail to offer them a diagnosis at all.

Figures from NHS Digital showed dementia patients in some locations were twice as likely to be diagnosed than if they lived elsewhere, the Daily Mail reported.

Chief executive of the charity Jeremy Hughes told the news provider some people wait years for an outcome, and 207,000 patients with dementia are currently left undiagnosed.

He said: “You would expect [a timely diagnosis] with any other disease and the fact that people with dementia don’t get it is denying their right to know what’s wrong with them.”

Mr Hughes noted that many people are turned away because they appear too young. However, he stated the assumption that Alzheimer’s is a condition that only old people suffer from is “false”.

West Somerset has the lowest levels of diagnosis, with only 42.6 per cent of patients with dementia having it confirmed. Comparatively, Stockton-on-Tees has the best diagnosis rates at 91.2 per cent, showing the stark difference between the two areas.

Those who do suffer from dementia need to make sure they make changes to their home so it is safe for them to live in.

Channel3000 advised assessing the condition of the patient and what they can manage first. Bathroom modifications, such as installing bath lifts, is advisable, as this helps those who struggle to get in and out of the bath on their own.

Sufferers should also have childproof latches on medicine cupboards, safety knobs on the stove, and locks where knives, matches, scissors and cleaning products are kept.

Apr 03

New Arthritis Drug Offer Hopes For Sufferers


As you grow older, you often need more help than you used to with everyday tasks, but with modern technology, from bath lifts to stair lifts, you can get back your independence around the home. While there are plenty of various ailments and illnesses that can lead you to needing a bath lift, rheumatoid arthritis can be one of the most debilitating affecting mobility and causing difficulty with daily tasks.

However, this week there has been an exciting announcement which is great news for sufferers of this condition who are looking for a new treatment. Pfizer, a pharmaceutical provider, have now been granted a license in the UK to provide the drug Xeljanz for patients.

The tablet, which is taken twice a day orally, works by inhibiting the signal pathway which contributes to swelling and painful joints. Although there are several medications available in the UK for treatment of arthritis, every patient reacts differently and some work better than others.

Founder and chief executive of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society spoke to the Express about how the lives of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers had been completely transformed over the last 40 years, however, noted its limitations: “Not every patient responds to their treatment and people can still experience significant limitations to what they can do and achieve because of their condition so, in spite of fantastic progress in rheumatology, there remains a need for different treatments.”

In the UK, 690,000 people are affected by the condition, the majority of whom are women. It’s a long term condition that doctors try best to manage over time, testing and determining what treatments work best for individuals. You can also have periods where pain is less, and flare-ups where the pain can be worse for an extended period of time.

Nov 07

‘Contact The Elderly’ Launches Friendship Event In Taunton


Old people who live alone sometimes struggle making friends, which is why one charity is helping them connect with others in the same boat.

The Contact the Elderly organisation helps those over the age of 75 to meet up through monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties so they do not feel as lonely or isolated.

Taunton is the latest location that has taken up the initiative, and those living in the town can get picked up from their home by a volunteer driver and taken to a host’s house for tea and a chat, the Somerset County Gazette revealed.

Regional development officer for the charity Helen Ker said: “For older people who live alone, Sundays can be particularly long and difficult.”

She added that these afternoons give the elderly an opportunity to make new friends and get out of the house, adding: “The monthly events make a real difference to the lives of those in the group and we would encourage anyone interested in coming along … to get in touch.”

The initiative began in 1965 and has since supported more than 100,000 older people, particularly helping those who have very little contact with friends or family.

A children’s book has just been released to highlight the issue of loneliness and raise awareness about helping others who are more vulnerable.

James and the Amazing Gift by Nicola J Rowley has been launched just in time for Christmas to encourage children to learn more about spreading happiness to others, and £1 from each sale will go towards Contact the Elderly.

If you live alone, having bath lifts installed might be what you need. Take a look at our selection here.