5 priorities for action in Northern Ireland

1. Improve diagnosis rates

Increase the dementia diagnosis rate to 75% across all Health and Social Care Trusts.

Getting a diagnosis opens doors to information, care and support that helps keep a person with dementia as well and independent as they can be.

A thorough and timely assessment for possible dementia is essential, in order to:

  • Rule out other conditions that may have similar symptoms and may be treatable, including depression, chest and urinary tract infections, severe constipation, and vitamin and thyroid deficiencies
  • Rule out other possible causes of confusion (eg poor sight or hearing), emotional changes and upsets (eg moving house or bereavement), or the side effects of certain drugs or combinations of drugs
  • Provide a person with dementia with an explanation for their symptoms, removing uncertainty and allowing them to begin to adjust
  • Allow a person with dementia to access treatment as well as information, advice and support (emotional, practical, legal and financial)
  • Allow a person with dementia to plan and make arrangements for the future.