Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Dementia: Diagnosis rates rising in South Asian community

Dementia: Diagnosis rates rising in South Asian community

The success of an Alzheimer's Society project in Rochdale means it will be extended to 15 more areas in England, including Oldham.

The success of an Alzheimer's Society project in Rochdale means it will be extended to 15 more areas in England, including Oldham.

The South Asian community is seeing a faster rise in the number of people diagnosed with dementia than the general population.

There are more than 25,000 people with dementia from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups in England and Wales.

This figure is expected to double by 2026 and rise to over 172,000 by 2051.

The Alzheimer's Society has been working in Rochdale with local faith and community organisations to create tailored services such as weekly information sessions and a Bollywood-inspired DVD in Hindi.

Project manager Diana Barbosa said the Rochdale scheme's success means it will be extended to 15 more areas in England in the coming months, including Oldham.
Language barriers
But a report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on dementia has found that people from BAME backgrounds are less likely to receive a diagnosis or support.

For Saleema Begum, a Punjabi speaker who has dementia and has forgotten most of the English she learned, many of the general services on offer are inaccessible.

Saleema Begum (right) has dementia and her son Saeed Anwar (left) explained the challenges they face Saleema Begum (right) has dementia and her son Saeed Anwar (left) explained the challenges they face

Her son, Saeed Anwar, said she wouldn't be able to understand and communicate with people providing health services and this can lead to issues around cultural needs such as the requirement for halal foods.

Dementia is a word which does not exist in many South Asian languages.

Mr Anwar explained: "Within our community, it's more a mental health issue. They use a word called 'pagal', which means crazy".
Delayed diagnosis
An increase in the South Asian population in the UK in the 50s, 60s and 70s means the number of people aged 65+ is due to rise sharply.

The government has predicted nearly a seven-fold increase in the next 40 years of people with dementia from BAME backgrounds.

However, stigma surrounding the condition is common and cultural differences can stop people getting the help they need, say health campaigners.

Shahid Mohammed told North West Tonight reporter Gill Dummigan that, in South Asian households, it is usually the family's responsibility to care for elderly parents.

Health campaigner Shahid Mohammed Health campaigner Shahid Mohammed highlights the problem of delayed diagnosis amongst South Asian patients

"It's this culture of looking after your own as long as possible in the house....and that often delays the diagnosis".

Mr Mohammed said that providing information to the families of people with dementia is vital.

"They do want to talk more about it, so we can signpost people to the services. We do have people that they can work with... so in terms of getting people to open up, we're getting there."

In addition to holding face-to-face sessions, the Alzheimer's Society's Rochdale project has published several videos on YouTube in Hindi and English.

Manchester City Council and dementia charities said raising awareness about the condition amongst relatives and carers in the South Asian community is a priority.

Every day this week, BBC North West Tonight, Radio Merseyside, Radio Lancashire and Radio Manchester are featuring all of the issues related to dementia in a series of special reports.

NHS 'to grind to halt' with dementia warns professor

NHS 'to grind to halt' with dementia warns professor

Elderly Ministers acknowledge dementia is not being diagnosed fast enough

The NHS will "grind to a halt" unless more is done to help care for dementia patients in the community, warns Wales' only professor of geriatrics.

A quarter of patients in district general hospital beds in Wales have dementia as one of their conditions.

"It's a challenge that's going to get even bigger if we don't do something about it," Prof Anthony Bayer told BBC Wales' Week in Week Out.

Ministers admit a "new push" is needed on how dementia services are developed.

A recent audit of the NHS Memory Services in Wales by Prof Bayer compared the amount of money spent on patients in Wales with those in England.

It found that on average, memory clinics in England spend twice as much on staff for each new patient as they do in Wales. Wales also had the worst diagnosis rates in the UK.

Prof Bayer told the programme: "Currently, there are about 45,000 people with dementia in Wales and that is due to rise by 1 or 2% year on year so the numbers are rising exponentially.

"The real problem is that still less than half of those patients are even diagnosed."

Many patients in hospital with dementia will have other ailments too which could be treated in the community.

Some have dementia alone, but are waiting for care to be in place before they can be discharged.

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Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has dementia at a younger age

CASE STUDY - Chris Roberts, 53, from Denbighshire, has dementia while his wife Jayne is also dealing with her mother's dementia.

"The biggest reaction I get at my age talking about it [having dementia] is disbelief.

"People don't want to believe it themselves because they would be admitting they could also get an illness that could lead to dementia - I wish I could disbelieve it."

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Prof Bayer said that lack of support means too many patients are ending up in hospital.

"One in four people in district general hospital beds have dementia," said Prof Bayer. "If you actually shifted more resource into the community then you could stop a lot of these unnecessary admissions.

"And if people did go into hospital you could get them home much more quickly."

He added: "If we don't do anything then the whole system is going to grind to a halt."

Health Minister Mark Drakeford acknowledged diagnosis rates were not going up fast enough.

He added: "We need a new push on making sure that we have a more national approach to the way that (dementia) services are developed".

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Why are people so rude

I was on a South West train going from Farnborough to London when I over heard a conversation between two well dressed city people.
One of them a lady said that she was always getting a parking ticket for being late back to the car park, because the parking limits were too short, and she really needed more time with her friends.
Her friend a gentleman, I used that term loosely, said that he had done that three times, but in the third day, he had told the parking warden that he had early onset dementia and had forgotten where his car was parked. 
Guess what,  he got off. He told this lady to use this excuse, because if it worked for him once so he was going to do it again.
My wife was not sitting next to me that day otherwise I guess, these two would have had a mouthful from her.
I was very upset and could not believe that anyone could be so evil as to think of something like that.
Many people with this illness, would probably get a parking ticket for being late, even though they have a good reason. But I cannot accept others using this illness as an excuse, when they have no real idea what it's like, or what it's like to live with.
If I had, been switched on that day I would have taken their photographs and reported them, but I was so disgusted that I sat there and stewed about it. 
When the train arrived in Waterloo they were off very fast and disappeared, before I could say anything. 

Perhaps it was good that I did not confront them because I was so livid. 

So young but so knowledgeable

Last month I saw a orthopaedic surgeon about my knee and hip problems. 

He had a very strong foreign accent, was so rude and thought that I just wanted a hip replacement, which I did not. To be very honest I do not want any operations at all, just want help to get around my problems on a daily basis.
I had been told prior to this appointment that it was osteoarthritis in both joints, which was fine, but if wanted to know who to manage the pain and also see if I could get some physiotherapy which may help. I had seen a physio once, but he took no notice of my memory problems at all, and also refused my wife access so that she could help me to remember the exercises.
However as I was struggling with my balance, my consultant at the i hospital had arranged some physio exercises which I can do at home, all of which are written out on sheets of paper with diagrammes where needed. 
Yesterday I was refered back to our local hospital for another physiotherapy assessment, where I was staggered to see a young lady who looked so young to me, she did not look old enough to to the job.
Yet she took the time to understand my problems and was so helpful. She also knew about Lewy body dementia which was amazing. My wife had pointed out that she wondered if my problems were due to gait a problem in dementia and she said that each person with dementia was vastly different to the next.
She said the exercises I was doing were very helpful, but gave me a few more to strengthen my back.
This was a vast difference from the original consultant, who asked if I wanted a hip replacement, yet knew nothing at all about dementia.
On Monday I have an MRI scan where it is hoped to get the full damage to both joints, but it sounds as if it is osteoarthritis and muscle weakness, so I just have to get on with it. 

I long for the day when all NHS staff are trained in dementia and memory problems like this young lady.