September is World Alzheimer’s Month and, in line with national trends, Sefton is experiencing an aging population which inevitably brings with it more patients who are being diagnosed with dementia.
General practitioner (GP) Dr Hilal Mulla from the Corner Practice, Marshside in Southport, shares his thoughts: “It is estimated that one in six people over 80 years of age will develop dementia. As there is no known cure, the challenge for GPs is firstly prevention, by addressing risk factors early in life such as smoking, obesity, physical activity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
“Diagnosing dementia can be complex and a time of anxiety and fear both for the patient and their family. It is important, therefore, to gain good access to timely diagnoses as this can then open the door to early treatments and interventions that can slow the progression of the illness and improve the quality of lives for sufferers and their families.
“My experience of the memory services in Southport and indeed Sefton has been very good, and having visited them, I’ve been impressed with the dedication, hard work and caring nature of the staff. It is not surprising then that the memory service in Sefton has recently been recognised nationally for its efforts.
“The next stage is to build on this and pave the way for services that will improve the lives of our residents and their families. This needs to be addressed through de-stigmatisation of the illness, and improving support for carers and patients that will allow them to live at home. This can only be done in partnership between GPs, secondary care providers, local authority and voluntary services such as Alzheimer’s Society.
“The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Sefton have made dementia care a priority, and work has started already through a transformation board that will bring together our partners in an effort to address the issues facing us all and to put forward real solutions to tackle the ‘dementia timebomb’.”
There are 32 different services based within Sefton that provide support for dementia. You can find the nearest to you by clicking HERE
The ‘30 Days of Sefton In Mind’ Campaign is being run to spread the word about local services and activities available to people in Sefton to improve their mental health.