Obtaining a diagnosis of dementia can bring a whole range of benefits to patients and their carers, according to a new report.
Date of article: 19-Nov-13
The ‘Benefits of Timely Dementia Diagnosis’, due to be published at the annual conference of the Dementia Action Alliance, found diagnosis can reduce anxiety, help people plan for the future, allow them to access local support and give them the tools they need to explain their condition to friends and family.
“In the past the value of dementia diagnosis has too often been measured in terms of what medication a GP can give a patient,” said Simon Kitchen, executive lead of the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA).
“Realising that diagnosis can bring many emotional benefits and put people back in control of their lives changes the terms of the argument and may help to push up timely diagnosis rates, which are still unacceptably low.”
The issue of whether it is beneficial for someone with dementia to have an early diagnosis, has long been a subject of debate, with some saying not to diagnose protects the person with dementia from ‘harm or unnecessary stress’.
Other opponents to early diagnosis say if little can be done in terms of effective medical treatment, there’s little point in diagnosing dementia.
However this report shows there are a whole raft of benefits to diagnosis which ‘directly counters’ these arguments.
The report reveals that ‘access to medication stands out as the single most important benefit’ however it ‘appears less important than the ability to plan, to access services and to adjust emotionally and psychologically’. (more…)