Dementia diagnosis at a 'record high': Here's how to spot the signs

NHS figures released show that the degenerative condition is at an all time high. [Photo: Getty]
NHS figures released show that the degenerative condition is at an all time high. [Photo: Getty]

NHS figures show that nearly 454,000 people aged 65 and over have been given a formal diagnosis of dementia in England.

That’s an increase of 7% in the last three years and an overall record of diagnoses.

The rise in cases of the degenerative condition are said to be because of an ageing population, an NHS spokesperson said.

This teamed with a drive to detect the disease earlier are both contributing to the rise in people with dementia.

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According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, half of UK adults are not able to detect key risk factors.

Unchangeable factors of the condition include: age, genetics, gender and ethnicity.

But, according to The Alzheimer’s Society, there are also a large number of modifiable risk factors, including smoking, physical activity, traumatic head injury, diet, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and poor childhood education.

Dementia is the leading cause of death in Britain. Care for dementia patients costs the country around £26 billion each year, according to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

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It’s thought that there are around 220,000 people living with dementia in the UK who are yet to receive a formal diagnosis.

Although the percentage of people diagnosed has increased, in some cases this increase can be seen as positive as it has given so many people access to the support needed.

With one third of people expected to have to care with somebody with dementia at some point in their lives, the support available can benefit the carers, too.

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There are a number of early signs of dementia to look out for, although there is currently no cure for the condition.

A recent study discovered that people who have trouble managing money could be at a heightened risk.

Other early risk factors include: trouble remembering recent events, reduced concentration and the inability to perform everyday tasks.

Anyone with concerns about dementia should contact the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122.

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