Dementia diagnosis on the rise in Budleigh Salterton
PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 February 2019
The number of people in Budleigh Salterton being diagnosed with dementia is more than double the national average, statistics show.
NHS digital data reveal that 1.8 per cent of patients in the town were diagnosed with the condition in 2017-18. Nationally, the figure is 0.8 per cent.
The figure for the Budleigh political ward is also higher than the South West and East Devon averages, at 0.9 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively.
Mark McGlade launched a initiative in 2012 to make Budleigh a ‘dementia friendly’ community.
He said: “Dementia is not a natural part of ageing, but, with an ageing population, we do see more people living with the disease as they age.
“Budleigh Salterton has more than twice the percentage of over 85s compared with the UK national average for this age group, and so the town would naturally be expected to have a much higher percentage of people living with dementia.”
According to McGlade, nearly 6.5 per cent of the town’s population is over 85. He also warned that the rest of the UK could look like Budleigh today by the year 2050.
“You would expect to see at least twice the incidence of dementia in Budleigh Salterton compared with the national population, simply based on the age demographics,” he said.
“We have fantastic local support for diagnosis of dementia from the initial GP referral to the Memory Clinic at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital through to support from the Alzheimers Society and Admirals Nurses, specialist home care and memory cafes.
“It is important also that family carers get the right support to enable those living with dementia to live well in their own homes.”
McGlade, who is also chairman of the East Devon Coastal Towns Dementia Action group, said a greater awareness of dementia contributed to a higher diagnosis rate in Budleigh.
“Greater dementia awareness increases the probability that people will seek medical diagnosis and get the medication and social care support they need to live well.”