Welcome to nurchat
Join Nurchat

Nurchat Article

NurChat 27/09/16 – Dementia and co-morbid health conditions

World Alzheimer’s Month is happening all around us right now. In its fifth year raising awareness around the world of this degenerative and heart-breaking disease, it’s surprising to note that there is little coverage in the mainstream media. Has Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia in all its forms now become so common it’s no longer worthy of a high profile?

The sad and distressing answer is probably that yes, it has now become a common health battle that most families face at some point. The Alzheimer’s Society estimate that there are over 850,000 people living with some form of dementia in the UK, and of those 527,000 have Alzheimer’s Disease. Dementia seems to have become such a common health issue that it no longer warrants the media attention that’s so desperately needed to further educate the world.

Dementia, in whatever specific form it may take, presents a complex and changeable set of symptoms that are often accompanied by other health issues. According to one report, 70% of dementia sufferers face the challenge of added health conditions including high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, stroke or TIA, and diabetes.

Promoting a person’s independence becomes increasingly challenging as their memory and decision-making ability declines, but what about managing conditions such as diabetes that requires a specific set of testing and medication routines to effectively manage it? Carers have previously reported that issues are addressed in isolation when they seek help, leaving them with the responsibility of managing the bigger health and wellbeing picture as well as raising concerns.

In this #NurChat we’ll be gathering experiences of both healthcare professionals and carers on the difficulties of co-morbid health conditions.

  • What are the complications you’ve seen when caring for someone with Dementia and other health conditions?
  • How do other health conditions impact upon their wellbeing?
  • When does self-management stop being an option?
  • How do you think treatment and care pathways need to change?

Further reading:

Comorbidity and dementia: a scoping review of the literature, Bunn et al 2014

Read back over the discussion here