Health professionals need to differentiate between dementia and ageing, a charity nurse has said.
Ian Weatherhead, lead nurse for Admiral Nursing DIRECT, explained that people are living longer and an increase in age corresponds to an increase in developing Alzheimer's, but it is "no longer acceptable" to believe the disease is just a normal part of the ageing process.
"Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing as people are often led to believe by their GP," said the expert, who thinks it is vital to improve awareness of dementia among doctors so early referrals can be made and better treatment given.
He warned that only a third of dementia sufferers in the UK receive a formal diagnosis and this is affecting people's quality of life.
Mr Weatherhead's comments came after an Alzheimer's Disease International study called for governments to increase their efforts to improve the diagnosis of dementia.