Dementia Action Week highlights University contribution to improving dementia diagnosis
Dementia Action Week, taking place from 15th to 21st May, has highlighted significant contributions made by Bangor University’s Dementia Services Development Centre Wales (DSDC) researchers towards enhancing dementia diagnosis. These efforts are part of the recently published report ‘Improving access to a timely and accurate diagnosis of dementia in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland,’ led by the Alzheimer's Society.
Research officer Dr Jennifer Roberts chaired a round-table meeting in Wales to provide valuable insights, which were instrumental in informing the report. The report also includes findings on problems with access to dementia services from bilingual (Welsh and English) residents produced by Dr Catrin Hedd Jones, lecturer in dementia studies. The report states that people from rural and/or deprived communities and those whose first language is not English are least likely to have timely access to a quality diagnosis, noting the importance of bilingual assessments for Welsh speakers. Catrin is currently working with Iaith, the Welsh Centre for Language Planning, on the validation of cognitive assessments for Welsh speakers, to help address this barrier to getting a timely and accurate diagnosis.
Professor Gill Windle, Director of DSDC Wales, School of Health and Medical Sciences, said, “I am really pleased to see this important work undertaken by my team is informing a consensus across all three nations regarding the barriers to getting a diagnosis.”
Jennifer’s contributions have earned her a prominent place at the upcoming Alzheimer's Society Annual Conference in London. As a key expert in the field, Jennifer will take centre stage during a panel discussion, focusing on key points highlighted in the report. Her expertise in researching the experiences of dementia diagnosis in Wales, and representing their voice, will contribute significantly to the discussion, providing valuable insights and perspectives.
Members of DSDC have worked directly with people living with dementia and their carers as part of the Caban group to produce ‘Knowledge is Power’, a booklet containing advice to help support people following a diagnosis with dementia. As of May, over 8000 copies of the booklet have been requested and disseminated to professionals and people living with dementia across Wales.