Doctors to test all elderly for dementia

Nov. 8, 2012 at 5:10 PM

LONDON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- British doctors will now be testing all pensioners for dementia every time they visit a doctor or nurse under plans to improve the diagnosis of dementia.

Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday that awareness of dementia was shockingly low and that more than a million Britons would soon be sufferers, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"We cannot underestimate the challenge we face in dealing with dementia in our country. There are already nearly 700,000 sufferers in England alone but less than half are diagnosed and general awareness about the condition is shockingly low," Cameron said.

All health-care professionals will now be required to ask all patients between the ages of 65 and 74 about their memory during a check-up. One million regular citizens will also be offered basic training under a Dementia Friends scheme so that they can identify the condition and assist those who need extra help.

"Through the Dementia Friends project we will, for the first time, make sure a million people know how to spot telltale signs and provide support," Cameron said. "There is still a long way to go in fighting the disease but together we can improve the lives of millions."

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