Assembly Member, Mohammad Asghar writes about Dementia in today's South Wales Argus

Dementia is one of the greatest health challenges we face.

One in three people aged over sixty five will develop dementia and the main form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease.

There are at present more than forty five thousand people in Wales living with dementia.

This figure is projected to increase by nearly a third by 2021.

We must not treat dementia as a natural part of the ageing process.

We have to raise awareness and help those living with dementia to live with dignity.

For this to happen early diagnosis is crucial.

Evidence suggests that where people receive an early diagnosis and are helped to access information, support and care, they are often able to adapt well to living with dementia.

We need our GPs to check more closely for signs of dementia because the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier life can be for those living with the condition.

Once dementia has been diagnosed it is important sufferers receive support to enable them to remain in their own homes as far as possible.

Age Cymru backs the further development of dementia support schemes in the community and the extension of dementia training schemes.

It is essential that care workers receive appropriate training in order for quality care to be provided.

Staff who are confident in doing their job and are able to do so to a good standard are essential.

Domiciliary care workers are likely to encounter people on a regular basis who may be confused, frustrated or have difficulty in communicating their needs. 

This could result in occasional incidents of aggression.

Knowing how to handle such situations through appropriate training again is essential to the delivery of quality care.

Sufferers would also benefit from some consistency in terms of the care workers they see.

Domiciliary care workers work with the most frail and vulnerable older people in our society.

Quality care, delivered to a high standard, has a significant impact on the quality of life of these people who deserve to be treated with dignity.

We have a duty to ensure that we provide the best possible care to enable dementia sufferers to live lives that are full, active and rewarding.