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13
Aug 2021
BAKE SALE for Dementia UK
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Why are we raising money?
On the 20th of August we will be holding a bake sale in the pharmacy. All proceeds from the sale will go towards helping fund more specialist Admiral Nurses, who give life-changing support to families facing dementia. When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them; giving compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions which can be hard to find elsewhere. They are continually trained, developed and supported by Dementia UK. Now more than ever, they need your help. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit families facing dementia so hard. Admiral Nurses have been supporting families though some of the most challenging days they've seen - with support groups and centres closed, often looking after a person on their own, 24 hours a day.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age. The Alzheimer’s Society (2014) reports there are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today.

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (conditions affecting the brain).
There are over 200 subtypes of dementia, but the five most common are:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Dementia with Lewy bodies
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Mixed dementia.

Some people may have a combination of different types of dementia and these are commonly called Mixed dementia.
So what causes it?
The brain is made up of nerve cells (neurones) that communicate with each other by sending messages. Dementia damages the nerve cells in the brain so messages can’t be sent from and to the brain effectively, which prevents the body from functioning normally. Regardless of which type of dementia is diagnosed and what part of the brain is affected, each person will experience dementia in their own unique way.
Getting checked out
If you are concerned about your own memory, or someone close to you about any changes with memory, communication, personality or behaviour,it is important to consult a GP as soon as possible, so that an accurate diagnosis can be made.
A GP can identify potentially treatable conditions that initially look like dementia but are not. For example: depression, an underactive thyroid, vitamin B12 deficiency, delirium caused by a medical condition like an infection, and the side effects of some medicines can all affect a person’s alertness, memory, or brain function.

We know that seeking a diagnosis can be scary or overwhelming, and some people feel that they’d rather delay finding out. However there 4 main reasons why you should try to get a diagnosis as soon as you can:

- For some people, it can be a relief to know what their condition actually is, and why their memory, behaviour, or the way they feel is changing.

- A diagnosis helps the person with dementia and their family to get the best treatment, support and plans in place as soon as possible. This includes finances, legal issues and making decisions for the present and the future.

- A timely diagnosis can help the person stay well for longer by allowing them and their family to make adjustments to improve their quality of life

- Although there is no cure for dementia at present, medication and other interventions can be used to help manage and lessen the symptoms.
What are the possible signs or symptoms to look out for?
A change in:
- short term memory
- thought processes
- concentration level
- communication, comprehension and word finding
- motivation level
- ability to perform everyday tasks
- personality, mood, behaviour or social functioning
However, as we said above all of these signs and symptoms may be due to potentially treatable causes, so never assume that one or more of these signs and symptoms is definitely dementia.
How is the diagnosis made?
Some people may feel overwhelmed or worried about visiting the GP, so here is a little insight into what will happen when you visit the doctors.

Firstly, before referring you for a specialist assessment of dementia, your GP will assess whether you have a treatable underlying condition causing your signs/symptoms. This could be depression, an underactive thyroid or some side effects of certain medication. They may take blood tests and ask questions relating to your physical and/or psychological wellbeing.Your GP may also refer you for a brain scan to check for evidence of other possible problems that could explain a person’s symptoms, such as a stroke or a brain tumour.

It may be helpful to have a family member, or someone who knows you well, present so they can say what changes they have noticed and how this affects the person and the people around them.

If any physical or mental health conditions have been ruled out as possible causes of the changes, the GP may then refer the person for further investigation. This could be at a memory clinic or with a specialist.The memory clinic or specialist should assess your cognitive abilities by asking specific questions. These usually include tests of attention, memory, verbal fluency and language. They will also ask questions about your abilities with everyday tasks such as shopping, housework, driving, and self-care, such as washing and dressing.

Lastly, the memory clinic or specialist should request a brain scan to examine the brain for any abnormalities, if that has not already been done by the GP.
How to reduce your risk of dementia or delay its impact..
Unfortunately, there are some risk factors you can’t change, these include:

- Age: people diagnosed with dementia tend to be over the age of 65. Above this age, a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia doubles roughly every five years.

- Ethnicity: certain ethnic communities appear to be at higher risk of dementia than others. For example, South Asian and African people seem to develop dementia more often than white Europeans. Specific risk factors associated with these communities such as stroke and diabetes, as well as differences in diet, smoking, exercise and genes, are thought to explain this.

- Gender: more women are affected by dementia than men. Worldwide, twice as many women have dementia than men. However this differs with the different types of dementia, with vascular dementia being diagnosed in slightly more men than women.

- Genetics: in rare cases, Alzheimer’s disease can be passed from one generation to another.
Admiral Nurses
Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses. Continually supported and developed by Dementia UK, they provide life-changing support for families affected by all forms of dementia.They help people living with dementia stay independent for longer and support the people caring for them.Most Admiral Nurses work in local community services, groups of GP practices and NHS hospitals.
How can they help?
- If communication gets hard,they can help teach skills and techniques to help you stay connected to the person you love
- If someone with dementia is showing signs of fear or distress, they’ll find the best ways of preventing or managing this
- If the family is struggling to cope, the Admiral nurses can help to get your loved one the best possible additional care and support.
- If you have questions you can’t get answered, the nurses take the time to really understand the problem, and give you the expert support you need to tackle it.
To find out more information about Dementia or for help with finding support, please visit https://www.dementiauk.org/
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Farnborough
Hampshire
GU14 9BL
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1031719
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Mak Johal
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