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Dementia Action Week & Life Insurance

This week is Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society’s biggest and longest running awareness campaign. Each year, the aim is to work with individuals and organisations across the UK to encourage people to ‘act on dementia’.

This year’s campaign will run from 16-22 May and the theme is diagnosis. Diagnosing dementia early can help you or your loved ones to get the support in place that you need.

Noticing the signs is important. For example, if you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss, it could be a sign of dementia. Research from the Alzheimer’s Society shows that the misconception around memory loss being a sign of normal ageing is the biggest barrier to people seeking a dementia diagnosis.

Diagnosis rates are currently at a five-year low, which makes Dementia Action Week even more important. Alzheimer’s Society wants to encourage those who might be living with undiagnosed dementia to contact them for guidance and support.

Getting a dementia diagnosis can be very daunting and often upsetting for both you and your family, however 91% of those affected by dementia believe it is better to know. With a sustained drop in dementia diagnosis rates, research was taken out to understand key barriers and benefits to getting a diagnosis.

The research found that alongside the misconception around memory loss just being a normal part of getting older, being in denial is a big barrier in getting help. It also found that referral times to specialists were not helping those experiencing symptoms to seek a diagnosis.

As part of Awareness Week, Alzheimer’s Society want to encourage those who might be living with, or close to someone who might be living with undiagnosed dementia to:
  • Be able to understand and recognise potential dementia symptoms
  • Go to them for guidance and support
  • Feel empowered to take the next step
  • Improve the diagnosis process alongside professionals.

Understanding Dementia & Memory Loss

Memory problems are experienced differently by different people. Sometimes it can be small things that start to add up, or it could be certain areas of your life that you are starting to forget. Coping with memory loss can be frustrating, so it’s important to learn how to cope with it and manage your feelings.
  • Common memory problems often include things like:
  • Forgetting people’s names
  • Struggling to remember to do day-to-day tasks
  • Forgetting what you have been doing
  • Misplacing items around the house
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Finding it hard to follow conversations
  • Forgetting important dates
Of course, it’s normal to forget things from time to time, especially if you have a busy schedule and are multi-tasking work, family commitments and day-to-day tasks. However, if these things become more frequent and more obvious, it is time to speak to your family and your GP about what support can be put in place.

Everyone reacts differently to memory problems, and it is perfectly normal to get frustrated, worried, or lose self-confidence.

Here are a few tips to manage your memory loss:

–        Talk to friends, family or other people who experience memory problems as they will have helpful suggestions on ways to manage the frustration

–        Make sure you try to stay in situations where you feel comfortable

–        If you regularly misplace things like mobile phones or keys, keep them in a familiar setting where you can easily see them, rather than in a drawer or cupboard. This could be by the door, in a bowl on the coffee table or by the telephone.

–        Focus on the things you do remember and talk about memories you have regularly.

–        Build on skills you have such as being organised or good at planning, then make the most of them when you face new challenges.

–        Stay in a regular routine during the day, but add in time to relax and also variety and stimulation, such as going to the shops or meeting with a friend.

–        Don’t be hard on yourself if you find things difficult.

–        Keep a notebook or diary to take notes on what you’ve done during the day and what you need to remember in the future.

–        Talk about your day with your family to help feel positive.

–        Plan ahead to make daily tasks more manageable.

–        Leave things you’ll need the next day by the front door so that you remember to take them out with you, such as your bag, purse or wallet, keys and glasses.

–        Simplify the layout of your home, label drawers and cupboards and remove clutter or unnecessary items.

Getting Support for Dementia

It’s so important to have the support you need by talking to friends and family about how you’re feeling and any things you are struggling with, and they can work with you to try and overcome any barriers that you’re facing. They can help you try out new techniques to help with your memory too, that you can put into practice when you’re alone.

If you have a diagnosis of dementia, it is a good idea to find out more about it. This could be online, through forums or through your GP, and includes information about what treatments are available.

You could also talk to a professional such as a psychologist about how you’re feeling.

Dementia and Life Insurance

Neurological Disorders like dementia are classed as high risk elements, which can affect your life insurance policy if you are looking to take one out. The Insurance Surgery is a specialist life insurance broker for those with pre-existing medical conditions, as well as for people who have high risk occupations or partake in hazardous hobbies.

There is a vast range of types and severities of Neurological Disorders which will have a varying level of impact on the premiums you will pay for life insurance, critical illness cover or income protection.

Our team of experts have helped thousands of individuals get the protection they deserve, across all kinds of conditions. They know exactly which insurance providers to approach to ensure you get the best cover at the best price.

Some of the most common types of Neurological Disorders include:
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Dementia
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Narcolepsy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Parkinson’s Disease
Each of these medical conditions have varying degrees of severity, meaning it’s best to have a chat with an advisor so they can get to know more about you and your personal circumstances.

Some of the main factors which are taken in to consideration by underwriters when assessing an application for a Neurological Disorders life insurance include:
  • Age at diagnosis
  • Type of Neurological Disorder
  • Medication or treatment
  • Any surgery or hospitalisation
  • General level of health
The level of severity will have an impact on the rates in which you’ll pay for your life insurance policy. If it is relatively new and manageable, you could pay standard rates, however if it is severe, you may be declined for a policy. Because our specialists know the industry and the provider’s limits, they will be able to find you an option much easier than if you go straight to an individual provider.

Some things you may be asked when you apply for a life insurance policy will include:
  • How long have you suffered from the condition
  • What type of Neurological Disorders do you suffer from
  • Have you undergone any surgery because of your condition
  • What treatment or medication are you taking
If you are looking to get a quote for life insurance and you have dementia, one of our team of experts can help. Start the process today by clicking here.