AROUND 90,000 people are living with dementia in Scotland.
The condition impacts different people in different ways and, for most, support is crucial both for those affected and their loved-ones.
But charity Dementia UK says the last few years have pushed care to crisis point.
From today the organization is asking Scots to make Time for a Cuppa and support their fundraising campaign.
Today Edinburgh-based Nurse Admiral Jenny Poynton urges people to take part so more people living with the disease can get the care they need and deserve.
DEMENTIA is a huge and growing health crisis.
Yet, the reality is that many families living with it are not getting the care they need.
The last few years have pushed dementia care to crisis point. Local services have been stretched to their limits, while record staff shortages in the health and social care sectors have created huge gaps in social care provisions designed to support families and individuals affected by dementia.
As a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse based in Edinburgh, I have witnessed the impact this has had. Families with dementia are exhausted and overwhelmed.
We believe every family affected by dementia should have the support of a specialist Admiral Nurse – but right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us.
Making Time for a Cuppa can change that. From today until May 8, we’re encouraging people across the nation to pour a cuppa for our largest annual fundraiser, Time for a Cuppa, to raise crucial funds to help us recruit more dementia specialists Admiral Nurses.
Time for a Cuppa provides an opportunity for friends, family and neighbors to get together and talk openly about their personal experiences with dementia, whilst raising money for the charity.
Dementia UK is a specialist dementia nursing charity that is there for the whole family.
Admiral Nurses – like me – offer life-changing support and tailored advice to families affected by dementia, whenever it’s needed. We work on the free national Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, in the face-to-face and virtual clinics, and in the community, in GP practices, hospitals and care homes.
Admiral Nurses are a lifeline to families who are battling through a broken care system.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of conditions affecting the brain, which get gradually worse over time.
There are over 200 different sub-types – all of which can present in varying ways and can be difficult to identify and diagnose in the early stages.
Despite dementia being the leading cause of death in the UK, there is still a lack of education and awareness about the condition. People often think dementia is associated with old age and memory loss, but dementia is a complex condition, unique to each individual and their family.
Anyone can get dementia – it doesn’t discriminate.
Recent figures from Dementia UK find that there is a ‘hidden population’ of 70,800 people in the UK who are currently living with young onset dementia (where symptoms occur under the age of 65).
Common symptoms associated with dementia can include issues with concentration, difficulty with short-term memory, and changes in everyday living abilities. With some dementias affecting people under the age of 65 years, changes can be in personality, social behavior, emotions, speech and understanding, and loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
All of these can have a significant impact on daily life and can be distressing for the person with dementia and the person caring for them.
When personality, behavior and emotions are affected this can lead to changes in relationships and difficulties with employment – 30 per cent of people assume people with dementia have stopped working – this doesn’t have to be the case with the correct support in place.
As an Admiral Nurse, I work with the whole family to help them prepare for the future and put financial and legal plans in place so they can live positively beyond a diagnosis.
Every family living with dementia deserves the support of an Admiral Nurse.
Over the past 13 years, Time for a Cuppa has raised over £1,300,000 for families with dementia. That’s enough to fund approximately 21 brand new Admiral Nurse services.
But as cases of dementia continue to rise, we need to keep building our support.
Whether you invite friends over to your house or bring colleagues together in your workplace, by hosting a Time for a Cuppa event, you can help us ensure no one has to face dementia alone.
– For a fundraising pack log onto dementiauk.org/get-involved and for Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline call 0800 888 6678 or email [email protected]