Dementia and cognitive impairment are the most significant of all chronic diseases in contributing to disability and the need for care (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2015). Indeed it has been estimated that the health and social care costs for dementia almost match the combined costs for cancer, heart disease and stroke in the UK (Leungo-Fernadez et al 2010). Yet despite the scale of this issue and the recommendations for improvement in the National Dementia Strategy (2009), poor recognition and diagnosis remain a problem which is important because without that, people with dementia do not always have access to the support, advice and treatment that could be of benefit to them (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2011). Consequently the focus of this article will be on the factors that are thought to contribute to dementia, common signs and symptoms, and current methods of diagnosis. The stigma attached to a diagnosis of dementia and the effect that this can have on individuals is also discussed.
|Publication status||Published - 27 Jun 2016|