Stores could help in fight on dementia

Supermarket staff should be asked to look out for customers showing signs of dementia, local authority health bosses have said.

Stores could help in fight on dementia

Supermarket staff should be asked to look out for customers showing signs of dementia, local authority health bosses have said.

The suggestion comes after it was revealed thousands of dementia sufferers across the Midlands may have not yet been diagnosed with the disease, including more than 2,000 in one borough alone.

Of an estimated 3,450 people with dementia in Walsall, just 1,036 have been identified by doctors, a report to a health scrutiny committee has revealed.

It means 2,414 sufferers, or 70 per cent, are receiving no treatment.

That has prompted members of the borough's health scrutiny committee to recommend that shop and supermarket staff should be trained to spot signs of the illness.

Committee chairman Councillor Marco Longhi said: "The larger supermarket chains see very large volumes of people. They are likely to see people coming through their doors who are showing signs of dementia.

"I'm sure we can work with supermarkets to ensure staff are trained in this area."

Recent figures show the number of people being diagnosed with dementia in the West Midlands has incre-ased. The number diagnosed rose by 2,100 over the last year from 25,600 to 27,700.

But it is thought that there are 41,000 people in the region that are living with the condition.

In Sandwell there has been a 3.7 per cent rise in the number of people being diagnosed with dementia, while there was a 1.9 per cent rise in Dudley. Wolverhampton saw a 1.2 per cent increase in dementia cases.

Walsall is a lowly 159th of 169 areas for diagnosis.

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