New guide helps GPs support dementia patients

A NEW guide for GPs to handout to newly diagnosed dementia patients and their carers has been launched by Alzheimer’s Society.

The dementia guide is the "first of its kind" to provide advice on how patients can come to terms with their diagnosis and live well with the condition. Part-funded by the Department of Health, it is designed for frontline healthcare professionals to offer to people recently diagnosed with dementia.

Over 50 per cent (428,000) of people living with dementia still do not have a formal diagnosis, and are not able to access treatments and support. Alzheimer's Society is campaigning to raise awareness of the variations in services offered to people around the country and calling for improved diagnosis rates.

The guide includes sections focusing on the emotional impact of a diagnosis, drug treatments that are available, signposting to services that are available through the NHS, social services, charities and private organisations, and support for carers.

Dr Alex Turnbull, A locum GP in Wigan said: "When facing a diagnosis of dementia, it's vital that people have as much information as possible about the condition and support available, so they can make plans for the future. This guide is a handy tool that will give healthcare professionals the confidence to be able to diagnose dementia, knowing they can signpost their patients to help and support at the time they need it most."