Late-onset dementia: early diagnosis and drug treatment
In this video we meet John, a keen painter and member of his church choir and learn about how he and his wife are coping with the challenges raised by John’s diagnosis of dementia.
Their account reinforces the need for the diagnosis to be handled sensitively by doctors, but also reveals the positive effects that an early diagnosis can bring. In John’s case, as well as finally giving a name to something that was slowly encroaching on his life, which in itself was positive, the diagnosis has given him access to the drug Aricept.
Messages for practice
- Living with dementia, although challenging, can be a positive experience.
- It is important that people diagnosed with dementia be appropriately supported.
- Medical staff should be aware of the symptoms of dementia to facilitate diagnosis.
- Medical staff should not dismiss dementia symptoms as just part of old age, but should treat patients sensitively and seriously and seek a formal diagnosis and appropriate treatments.
Who will find this useful?
Carers (both in care homes and domiciliary), GPs and other medical staff, members of the public.
Access and download additional resources
Useful links Open
The Alzheimer’s Society produces over 80 factsheets on all sorts of topics related to dementia, including many that relate to early signs and diagnosis, including Risk factors for dementia (450), Assessment and diagnosis (426), After a diagnosis (471), and The progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (458).
The healthtalk website contains stories from 31 carers of people with dementia, some presented in videos, some in audio recordings. The stories cover a wide range of areas, including recognising the early signs of dementia and getting the diagnosis.
NHS Choices describes itself as the ‘online front door to the NHS’. It is the UK’s biggest health website and includes an A–Z of health conditions, including dementia, as well as explaining about treatments and how the health system works. The Dementia Guide on this site includes a section on Getting a dementia diagnosis, Benefits of early dementia diagnosis, and What to do if you’ve just been diagnosed with dementia.
Unlocking diagnosis: The key to improving the lives of people with dementia.
This All-Party Parliamentary Group of Dementia publication reports on the APPG’s 2012 inquiry into differing diagnosis rates – and the barriers for lifting these – around the UK.
World Alzheimer Report 2011: The benefits of early diagnosis and intervention
The Alzheimer’s Disease International 2011 report investigated the benefits and disadvantages of early diagnosis and intervention for people with dementia, the implications of early diagnosis for health and social care costs, and best practice in early intervention around the world.
Related pages from this section Open