Charity in appeal to get support

The Alzheimer’s Society is urging residents in south east Northumberland to visit their GP if they are concerned about memory loss after a surge in calls since the Christmas period.

The charity has started the new year by sending out ‘Worried about your memory?’ information leaflets to GP surgeries in Blyth, Cramlington and Ashington to help raise public awareness and ensure the right support is available.

The Newcastle-based Alzheimer’s Society interim operations manager for North of Tyne, Danielle Hayes, said: “Many of the calls to the national dementia helpline have come from worried relatives, who may have seen relatives or friends for the first time in months and noticed changes in behaviour.

“There is often a misunderstanding about dementia and its symptoms, and people may delay seeking help when they are concerned about their memory problems.

“Spotting the signs of dementia as soon as they start, and getting a diagnosis is vital.

“It allows people to access support and specialist services that they desperately need.

“It also means they can start to plan for their future, and that of their family.

“I would urge anyone who has noticed changes in a family member or friend this Christmas or their own memory to visit their GP and seek advice as soon as they can.’

Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language and is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases.

The Alzheimer’s Society national dementia helpline number is 0300 222 1122.