Wednesday 30 May 2018, Ms Paula Canney, Dementia NI
Paula began by stating that over 850,000 people in the UK have a diagnosis of dementia, a figure that is predicted to rise to one a million by 2025. In Northern Ireland the figure is around 20,000 but may well be a third higher because of the number of cases either undiagnosed or undeclared. Dementia NI works with people in the early stages of the condition, helping them to get on with life, because remaining active – physically and mentally – is the best way to cope. Paula explained that there is much more to dementia than memory loss; to date some 204 types have been recorded, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, Frontotemporal Dementia and Dementia with Lewy Bodies. The condition is no respecter of persons and fame and fortune offer no protection as in the case of Ronald Regan, Barbara Windsor, Robin Williams, and Terry Pratchett to name but four. Paula went on to discuss the common symptoms and factors which were associated with increased risk of developing the condition, such as ageing, gender, ethnicity, family history, cardio-vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s Disease, stress, MS, HIV, and Down’s Syndrome. More women that men have dementia because, statistically, women live longer. Her talk gave rise to many questions and interested discussion from a group of men fretful about their health in the future.