Published On: Wed, Jul 2nd, 2014 on 10:17 am

Dementia diagnosis variations across Yorkshire labelled ‘unacceptable’

Elderly Person

The Alzheimer’s Society has voiced concern over dementia diagnosis in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Of the nearly 390,000 people in Yorkshire and the Humber living with dementia, reportedly less than half currently have a formal diagnosis.

In the best performing areas, 68% of people with dementia have a diagnosis, while in others little more than one in three people with dementia get diagnosed.

Nationwide, findings from the charity revealed that one in five people affected by dementia (21%) were given no information and support after a diagnosis.

The poll conducted with dementia, carers and people with family members and friends with dementia, also revealed a shortage of post-diagnosis support provision, with 90% of those surveyed dissatisfied with the amount of information and support they were provided.

Janet Morley from West Yorkshire, whose mother Margaret aged 80, has vascular dementia, said: “My mum was diagnosed with dementia four years ago. Once we had the diagnosis it was difficult to know where to go to for advice and the number of different professionals we had to deal with was confusing and frustrating.

“We pulled together as a family to help care for mum, but it put a huge amount of stress on us all. We had to do all the research into what help and advice was out there for mum.”

The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia set about to improving diagnosis rates, and whilst progress has been slow, diagnosis rates in the country have increased by around 2% a year.

Judith Gregory, the charity’s operations manager for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The small improvement in dementia diagnosis is good news, but the variation across Yorkshire and the Humber is unacceptable. Everyone with dementia has a right to know.

“To have access to the certainty of a diagnosis and the right support to comes to terms with and manage the condition should not depend on your postcode.”

The Alzheimer’s Society has now launched its ‘Right to Know’ campaign that aims to ensure that no-one in the county is denied access to information and support following a diagnosis.

Around 670,000 people in the country live with dementia, a number which is expected to double in the next 30 years.

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