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World Alzheimer’s Month – support available during the ongoing pandemic

This September is World Alzheimer’s Month and health organisations in Sefton are reassuring residents that services have been adapted so that support is available for people living with dementia and those who care for them during the ongoing pandemic.

Dementia affects over 50 million people worldwide, with a new case occurring every three seconds. Although there are over 100 different types of dementia, Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia in the UK.

Dr Susan Gough, mental health lead for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

“World Alzheimer’s Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms and let people know about the support available.

“The first sign of Alzheimer’s is usually minor memory problems which are easily dismissed as part of getting older. If you think you or a loved one may be experiencing dementia symptoms, do not delay speaking to your GP. Getting an accurate and early diagnosis can give you the best chance to prepare and plan for the future, as well as receive any treatment or support that may help.”

As the condition develops, memory problems become more severe and further symptoms can develop, such as:

  • Confusions, disorientation and getting lost in familiar places
  • Difficulty planning or making decisions
  • Problems with speech and language
  • Problems moving around without assistance or performing self-care tasks
  • Personality changes, such as becoming aggressive, demanding, and suspicious of others
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there) and delusions (believing things that are untrue)
  • Low mood or anxiety.

Dr Hilal Mulla, mental health lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“Living with dementia at any time brings challenges and we know the COVID-19 pandemic will be making things harder for people. It is important that you remember that you’re not alone.

“Although some services are working differently at the moment, we’d like to reassure residents that there are resources, support and advice available for people affected by dementia. Due to the pandemic some group activities and one-to-one support sessions are being delivered by telephone or online which also means that these are more easily accessed from your home.”

Dementia services, support, and advice useful links:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and dementia useful links:

Alzheimer’s Society: Coronavirus information for people affected by dementiaDementia UK: Coronavirus questions and answers

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