Dementia sadly causes the loss of mental abilities such as thinking, remembering and reasoning. This usually happens gradually. It can affect anyone, whatever their age, although most people who develop it are over 65. The symptoms can vary from person to person.
Our partnership group Dementia and Me meets every six weeks. We're committed to working together to implement and monitor our Dementia Strategy and support our strategic vision;
“Barnsley people living with dementia and their carers experience person centred care supported by integrated services. This provides a holistic approach to care, in their local communities.”
It's possible to live well with dementia. Find out about local groups and activities on the Dementia Friendly Barnsley website or by calling (01226) 776822.
Reducing the risks of dementia
We know that dementia affects many families in Barnsley. There are things we can do to reduce the risk of getting some forms of dementia.
A study by The Lancet Commission in 2017 suggests that there are 12 factors that increase the risk of dementia. However, measures can be taken to reduce this risk.
The 12 preventable causes of dementia span from childhood to later life and are listed below:
- children’s education
- hearing loss
- traumatic brain injury
- alcohol use
- social isolation
- physical inactivity
- air pollution
These risk factors account for around 40% of worldwide dementias.
To address dementia risk, the authors make nine recommendations.
The nine recommendations
- Aim to maintain systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or less fe from around age 40 years. Make sure you check your blood pressure regularly with an NHS Health Check.
- Use hearing aids for hearing loss and reduce hearing loss by protecting ears from high noise levels. Our Barnsley Audiology department offers:
- home visits
- balance assessments
- support with tinnitus
- hearing aids
- ear protection
- Reduce exposure to air pollution and second-hand tobacco smoke. Find out more about Barnsley Air Quality and how you can improve it.
- Prevent head injury by targeting people in high risk jobs and transport.
- Prevent alcohol misuse and limit drinking to less than 14 units per week. Find out more about how Recovery Steps can help you reduce your alcohol intake.
- Stop smoking uptake and support people to stop smoking. Find out about your local stop smoking service.
- Provide all children with primary and secondary education.
- Lead an active life into mid, and possibly later life. You can find out how to do this by visiting:
- Reduce obesity and diabetes. Read more about how to keep an healthy weight for good health.
For more details on ways to keep healthy and reduce your dementia risk, visit the NHS dementia guide.
How to get help
If you're concerned about dementia because you think that you may be showing some symptoms. Or if you care for someone who may be affected, it's important to see a GP.
Your GP will be able to diagnose dementia and prescribe some treatment that may slow down its progress. They'll also support you to get a diagnosis from the Memory Assessment and Support Service. They may prescribe treatment which your GP will support with. There's a dementia champion in every GP practice who you can speak to for more advice. Your GP can also refer you to other dementia support services. These are either provided by the NHS or other support services in the community.
If you need some practical help or equipment to live at home with dementia. You can contact us to get a social care assessment. We've a range of assistive living technology (telecare) that can help you live safely. We can advise you about services that provide respite or longer-term support. Also give advice about finding a care home that specialises in dementia care.
Find out about groups and activities to help you live well on Live Well Barnsley.