Dementia Action Week UK: diagnosis rates at five year low

Starting today (16 May), Alzheimer’s Society is running Dementia Action Week, the yearly awareness campaign encouraging people to act on dementia. This year’s campaign is on the theme of diagnosis.

The latest NHS figures report dementia diagnosis rates are at a 5 year low, with numbers showing 443,900 dementia diagnoses for March 2022.

Previous years show 430,758 reports of coded diagnosis in March 2021, and 470,292 in March 2020.

Alzheimer’s research has put this 5 year low down to dementia being hard to diagnose, slow progression and lack of awareness.

Creators of dementia wellbeing products, Relish, conducted research into dementia in order to raise public awareness about the complex disease. From a recent survey of people caring for those with dementia, results found that 15% of people don’t know what stage of dementia the person has.

Ben Atkinson-Willes, founder and CEO of Relish said: “These figures are quite worrying. It may look like there are fewer people with dementia but lower diagnosis rates are symptomatic of limited knowledge and awareness of dementia and its symptoms.

Diagnosis is incredibly important which is why we have developed an online questionnaire that identifies the stage of dementia.”

You can view the dementia questionnaire on the Relish website.

Further data from the survey found that 93% of carers would actively look at how to improve the well-being of a person with dementia, with 88% searching online for information to help.

The survey also found that dementia carers believe that bringing joy is most important for lifting wellbeing of people with dementia, but that overall wellbeing can be influenced by a number of different factors including maintaining identity, staying independent, staying active, achievement, relationships and calmness.

Dementia products such as sensory activities, puzzles and reminiscence activities are available to contribute positively to the minds and memory of people with dementia.

“When buying something for someone with dementia, without knowing the stage it can be a real challenge to find what’s right,” says Atkinson-Willes.

“If you get a product that is too difficult, it can be frustrating and isolating. Too easy and it seems patronising and distressing… We believe wellbeing is at the heart of improving the quality of lives and relationships, which is reflected in all that we do at Relish.”

Developed for every stage and need, you can browse the range of products online.

A full report on the well-being survey can be found on the Relish blog.

About Relish:

Founded in 2008, Relish was created with a mission to help improve the overall wellbeing of people with dementia by providing fun, meaningful activities that help build their relationships with their family, friends and caregivers