The local provider of specialist NHS mental health services is supporting a national campaign, launched today, that aims to raise awareness of the early signs and symptoms of dementia.
The South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides services to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, is backing the Government’s campaign ‘Dementia: Early Signs and Symptoms’, which aims to raise awareness about dementia and the importance of early diagnosis.
The campaign targets the family and friends of people at risk of dementia telling them what to look out for as they are likely to be the first to see the signs and can encourage their loved one to see their GP.
While there is no cure for dementia, the right treatment and support can help slow the progression of the condition. The Trust is reiterating the importance of early diagnosis and intervention, and that with the right support people with dementia can continue to live well for many years.
Steven Michael, chief executive of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said, “Every year, our Trust helps local people with dementia to live life to the full and we give them access to a variety of treatments and therapies to help them do this. Our Trust is well known for a range of innovative approaches, for example life history work and dance therapy, and we work closely with our partner organisations in health and social care to continually improve the services we are able to offer local people.”
The campaign will feature TV, radio and print ads and will initially be piloted in the North West and Yorkshire and Humber.
The TV advert tells the story of a daughter as she becomes aware that her dad is struggling in a number of situations, such as leaving pans on the hob and forgetting where his car is parked. While accepting it was a hard issue to raise with him, the message is that acting on her concerns and getting help means she can keep the dad she knows for longer.
Steven Michael added, “Our Trust has a well known strapline: ‘with all of us in mind’. This phrase could not be truer when it comes to how we must all look at the topic of dementia as it could affect any one of us, our family or friends. It is vital that we all seek to understand it better and know what to look out for.”
Figures show only around 40% of people with dementia in England receive a formal diagnosis meaning almost 400,000 people could be going without the vital support the NHS can offer.
Care services minister Paul Burstow said, "People are afraid of dementia and rather than face the possibility someone they love has the condition, they can wrongly put memory problems down to ‘senior moments’. But if you are worried, the sooner you discuss it and help the person seek support the better. Don’t wait until a crisis forces your hand. Being diagnosed with dementia won’t make the condition worse but leaving it untreated will."
Local people are invited to join the Trust’s other 14,000 members to find out more about local services. More information is also available online at www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk or by following the Trust at www.twitter.com/allofusinmind.