GPs vital to improving services for dementia

In recent years dementia has come in to the spotlight as our ageing population continues to grow.  Diagnosis levels are still low and in Wales under half those with dementia actually receive a diagnosis.

GPs are the first port of call for anyone who is seriously concerned about their memory and other communication problems.  GPs are vital conduits to people receiving a diagnosis and therefore the best possible treatment and care.

The reason for the low diagnosis rates may be due to the stigma around dementia, the misunderstanding that memory problems are a normal part of ageing and the idea that nothing can be done as there is no cure.

To counter these barriers people need to be equipped with knowledge of the signs and symptoms of dementia and the confidence to talk to family members if they are concerned.  The Alzheimer’s Society has some practical tips for having a conversation about the disease and finding the right support.

The trusted role of GPs is vital in confronting this subject and as the public become more confident in discussing dementia so will the primary care professionals.

With reference to Guardian Online