2. Right to Know: what are we calling for?
Alzheimer's Society's Right to Know campaign wants to ensure that more people living with dementia receive a formal diagnosis and that everyone diagnosed is fully supported afterwards. Were calling for:
Improved diagnosis rates
- We want to ensure a commitment to achieve diagnosis rate of 75% in all areas by 2017.
- According to NHS and government statistics, only 66.1% of people with dementia receive a formal diagnosis. This has been steadily improving for a number of years but it is still not good enough. People are told their symptoms are simply part and parcel of getting getting older.
- By ensuring more people get the certainty of a diagnosis it gives them an explanation of their symptoms, and can mean they can plan for the future whilst still able to.
No one to wait longer than 12 weeks for a dementia diagnosis
Some memory clinics are able to provide personalised service in a timely and sensitive manner. In others, people are left to wait for longer than six months to get their diagnosis, which is far too long to wait when you're confused and in need of support.
- Our Right to Know campaign is calling for no one to wait longer than 12 weeks from seeing their GP to getting their diagnosis. At the moment the length of time a person has to wait for a diagnosis varies hugely depending on where you live.
Support after your diagnosis
Getting a dementia diagnosis on its own is not enough. There are a huge range of emotions that people with dementia and their families feel once diagnosed. Many people feel not only upset, but confused about the condition, potential treatments and available support.
- We think that everyone diagnosed with dementia should have access to a Dementia Adviser (or equivalent) to help them come to terms with their new condition. They will be able to answer simple questions about dementia and signpost to services available locally.
Our new animation highlights the importance of a Dementia Adviser and the difference they can make to a person's life.