13 May 2015

Northamptonshire County Council libraries will be hosting a programme of events during Dementia Awareness Week (18th to 24th May).

From a memory lane cafe to a choir morning, a wide range of activities and sessions have been organised across the county to support people with dementia and their families, as well as help them learn more about the condition.

Growing issue

In Northamptonshire it is believed that some 8,000 people suffer from dementia; by 2030, this figure is expected to nearly double.

Dementia is not a single illness but a group of symptoms caused by damage to the brain. The symptoms include loss of memory, mood changes and confusion. Dementia is caused by a number of different diseases of the brain, including Alzheimer's disease.

Vascular dementia is the second most common cause after Alzheimer's disease. High blood pressure, heart problems, high cholesterol and diabetes can increase the chances of developing vascular dementia so it is important these conditions are identified and treated at the earliest opportunity.

One way of maintaining good health and reducing the risk of developing these types of conditions is through a free NHS Health Check. Health checks are available to most people aged between 40 and 74, who don’t already have an existing vascular condition that is already being taken care of by their GP.

Healthier lifestyle

Cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, Councillor Robin Brown said: “With the number of people having dementia in the county expected to nearly double in the next 15 years, this is clearly an important issue for many of us.

“Libraries are offering a wide range of activities and information sessions giving anyone dealing dementia the chance to have fun and spend time with others as well as learn more about the small steps they can take to help cope with this condition.

“And don’t forget – one easy way to improve your chances of living a healthier life is to make sure that you don’t miss out on a free NHS health check if you are entitled to one.”

Find out more

For more information about the events planned as part of Dementia Awareness Week, please visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/whatson.

Anyone interested in getting a free health check should visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/healthchecks to check if they are eligible or contact their GP surgery for more information.