ONLY 40 per cent of people with Alzheimer’s under the jurisdiction of the Northumberland Strategic Health Authority have been diagnosed, it has been estimated.
Statistics from the Alzheimer’s Society reveal that of 4,530 sufferers, fewer than 2,000 have had their condition confirmed.
And in common with national trends, the number of sufferers is predicted to nearly double by 2021.
The figures emerged as a pioneering Dementia Community Roadshow prepares to visit Berwick.
The Alzheimer’s Society Roadshow will be at Berwick’s Tesco store on Friday, January 18, between 10am and 4pm.
The Roadshow, consisting of three specially-built vehicles, aims to bring further awareness and understanding of the condition to 100,000 people over the next three years. It offers free information and advice to anyone with queries about the condition, as well as helping to promote the benefits of an early diagnosis.
As part of the legacy of the Alzheimer’s Society being Tesco’s Charity of the Year in 2012, it is designed to reach those parts of the country where support and access to advice is most limited.
People who are currently living with dementia, are worried about a friend or relative’s memory, or just have questions about the condition, are encouraged to drop by with no appointment necessary.
Danielle Hayes, the Alzheimer’s Society support services manager for Northumberland, was on board the vehicle during its last visit to Berwick
She said: “Last year the Roadshow was a huge success. People who were there to do their shopping came along for a chat because they wanted more information about dementia and the services that the Alzheimer’s Society offer in Berwick and the surrounding area. We received lots of positive feedback and we are really looking forward to going back to Berwick in January.”
Caroline Burden, Alzheimer’s Society’s area manager, added: “The Dementia Community Roadshow helps us reach out to local communities and people who may not know where to turn for help. A diagnosis is the first step in unlocking the support and potential treatments that are available.
“Receiving an early diagnosis enables people to access support when they need it and gives them the opportunity to plan for the future. We’re here to provide people with information about where to get help and encourage those with concerns about their memory to visit their GP.”