Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Diagnosis and possible prevention

This recent article is interesting:

I have reservations about the current emphasis on the need for early diagnosis and I've discussed them before (type 'diagnosis' into the search box at the top left if you're interested).

Leaving these views to one side, it interests me that the article clearly suggests that diagnosis is a more complicated matter than we are sometimes led to believe:

'The National Clinical Director for Dementia in England, Prof Alistair Burns, says the MoCa test could be an important component in identifying risk of vascular dementia, but he says by itself it is just a "snapshot", and a lot of other factors should be brought to bear in arriving at a diagnosis.
"It's not just one thing. It's looking at the history of the person, it's looking at how they are doing in general, it's looking at the medical history, at brain scans, and that test of cognition, of executive function."
However he says the message about the possibility of prevention is important.'

The possibility of prevention is another interesting topic about which there are few clear-cut answers. Since vascular dementia was first identified it has been clear that lifestyles which minimise the risk of heart disease or stroke might help to prevent vascular dementia as well. But there are several different kinds of vascular dementia and many, many more kinds of dementia that don't seem to have any connection with the vascular system. It's important that people understand this.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Dementia Awareness Week

It's currently this week (ends tomorrow) in the UK.

Mumsnet invited me to do a special guest blog to mark the occasion.  You can find it here:

Mumsnet guest blog

(The previous link was only good for a day. Apologies.)

Regular readers will see that I've covered several familiar points, but it nay be useful as a starting point for new readers.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Please consider signing this petition

I'm never sure myself whether it's really worth signing online petitions, and there are so many on this topic that they are probably in danger of competing and cancelling each other out. However.........

The demand is for free care for people who need it, for whatever reason.  Obviously I'm coming at it from the point of view of someone who cares for a person with dementia but there are many other conditions and diseases that lead to people reaching a point where, if someone doesn't look after them, they will die.

Currently in the UK, you have to pay for this care, unless your income/savings are below a certain point.  Care, provided either in a home or 'at home' is incredibly expensive and sometimes not of a very high standard.  It is generally provided by private companies, though there are a few charities who also run homes.  If you are below the income/savings threshold, the Local Authority usually pay a lower fee than the care hones charge 'self-funders'.  Indeed there are grounds for believing that the companies subsidise the Local Authority places via the higher self-funding costs.

There are plans, currently due to come in during 2016, for a different system which might help to ensure that people don't necessarily lose all their savings and sometimes their home in care fees. It is a rather complex scheme!

The petition calls for everyone to be treated equally.

As always, the question is where the money will come from to meet this demand.  We would all have different ideas about this, but I think most people know that the way wealth is currently distributed suggests that there are many better choices that could be made in terms of tax and spending.

If you want to read more about this particular petition, follow this link:

Care of the elderly without bias