Can you imagine how much easier living with dementia would be if there were more services available to families touched by dementia?
Just consider this for a moment – tomorrow you receive a call to say that a member of your family has been diagnosed with dementia. What would you do? How would you feel? Who could you ask for advice? What would you say? How could you help them?
Not sure? You’re not alone – thousands of families have to deal with this “shock” every year. The majority feel helpless and unsure how to cope. It’s extremely traumatic and can devastate family networks and put immense pressure on relationships.
One thing is clear – their lives are not over and there’s still much living to enjoy – even though it may not seem like it immediately after the diagnosis.
The most important thing to do is ask for help and support. The sooner you do this the better. Early intervention is crucial to maintaining healthy relationships and enjoyable lives.
That’s why getting people diagnosed with dementia into quality primary care services immediately is so important.
It will keep them living happier and healthier lives for longer. It will also provide much-needed advice to help them understand the disease and how it may affect their loved ones behaviour.
Immediately after diagnosis, health care professionals need to be referring families to the support networks and services available in their area. It will make a huge difference to their lives.
All too often referrals take too long.
Let’s start focussing on improving the speed of referral and move to a “seamless” transition from diagnosis to primary care.
And finally, let’s take some time to fully understand the services available to families so we can “refer with confidence”.
Don’t delay – let’s get started straight away!!!