WITH 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK, raising awareness has never been more important.

Latest available figures show that 2,131 Wirral people appear on GP registers as having a diagnosis of dementia, although the actual numbers of those with the condition are thought to be significantly higher.

This week marks Dementia Awareness Week and aims to encourage people to open up and get the help they need.

Dr Abhi Mantgani, chief clinical officer of NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, said, “Early symptoms of dementia are often mild and may get worse only very gradually.

“This means that the person with dementia and those around them may not notice these signs or take them seriously for some time.

“Also, people with dementia sometimes do not recognise that they have any symptoms.”

“If you're worried that you, or someone close to you, may have dementia, it can be difficult to talk about.

“You may feel scared, confused or even ashamed. You may also be hoping that the problem will go away so you don't have to deal with it.

“The NHS is here to listen and your family doctor is one of the gateways to the help you may need.

“Talking that first step to talk to someone about it is first and most important step you can take.”

Throughout Dementia Awareness Week – which runs until May 24 - Wirral Alzheimer's Society will be holding a number of events.

Steve Green, operations manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Merseyside, said: “Dementia has replaced cancer as the health condition people fear most.

“It is therefore no surprise that many people feel confused or even ashamed to talk about it. “We all bury our heads in the sand from time to time but it is important to seek help.

“The sooner you know what you’re dealing with, the sooner you can get on with your life and feel in control again.

“We hope events in Dementia Awareness Week across Merseyside and Cheshire will provide members of the public with a great opportunity to find out more about how Alzheimer's Society can help.”


The events are taking place: 

• Monday May19 and Friday May 23, 11am – 3pm, Birkenhead bus station -  information stall
• Tuesday May 20, 10am-12pm, Seacombe Library - Open Coffee Morning.
• Tuesday May 20, 6.30pm-8.30pm, Holiday Inn Express, Hoylake – information session. Please phone 0151 630 5206 in advance to book a place.

For more information about the events and activities taking place, visit alzheimers.org.uk and select the “Wirral” option on the home page. Alternatively, you can call 0151 630 5206.