Charity fears sufferers are undiagnosed

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MORE than 600 people were diagnosed with dementia in South Yorkshire last year – but thousands more remain undiagnosed, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Figures reveal 612 people in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster were told in the last year they are suffering the condition.

But it is believed almost half of sufferers in the county do not have a formal diagnosis – leaving more than 7,500 without medical support.

In Sheffield, 260 people were diagnosed last year – pushing the number registered to 3,621. It is thought the actual number of sufferers in the city could be 6,382.

In Rotherham, where experts think the true number is 3,034, 112 people were diagnosed last year.

In Barnsley, 94 people last year received the news they have dementia. The society thinks 2,666 people in the town could really be affected.

In Doncaster, where it is believed 3,609 people could be suffering, 146 patients were formally diagnosed last year.

The news comes as Sheffield Council considers closing three care homes for dementia sufferers – Norbury in Norwood, Bolehill View in Crookes and Hurlfield View in Gleadless Common – in a bid to save cash.

The society recommends people speak to their GP if they are struggling to remember recent events, finding it difficult to follow conversations, regularly forgetting names, losing their thread while talking, or noticing other people commenting on their forgetfulness.

In Derbyshire, the go-ahead has been given for a £200 million scheme to ‘transform’ dementia support.

Coun Charles Jones, Derbyshire County Council member for adult care, said the plans would offer support to everyone in Derbyshire within five miles of where they live and specialist dementia care no more than 10 miles from home.

But the proposals will see many traditional residential homes replaced with apartments to rent or to buy.

Among the first care homes to be affected are New Basset House in Shirebrook, Derwent House in Chesterfield, Holmelea at Tibshelf and The Spinney at Brimington.The council said no decisions on whether or not to close individual homes will be made until full consultation has been carried out.