Grove House Practice has put together the following information to help and support our patients if they or someone they know is worried about becoming increasingly forgetful (particularly if they are over 65) and are concerned about the possibility of dementia.
Forgetfulness or memory loss is not always a sign of dementia, but if you are worried about someone who is showing the signs outlined in this leaflet, please encourage them to visit their GP, so that they can be checked out.
We want to raise awareness of dementia and help people to better understand the impact of the condition and the many options that are out there to provide support and keep people with dementia independent and living in their own home for as long as possible. There are links in this leaflet to lots of information on dementia and sources of local and national support.
Early symptoms of dementia (sometimes called cognitive impairment) are often mild and may get worse only very gradually. This means you might not notice if you have them, and family and friends may not notice them or take them seriously for some time.
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia include:
- memory loss – especially problems with memory for recent events, such as forgetting messages, remembering routes or names, and asking questions repetitively
- increasing difficulties with tasks and activities that require organisation and planning
- becoming confused in unfamiliar environments
- difficulty finding the right words
- difficulty with numbers and/or handling money in shops
- changes in personality and mood
The speed at which symptoms get worse and the way that symptoms develop can depend on what is causing the dementia, as well as overall health. This means that the symptoms and experience of dementia can vary greatly from person to person. Some people may also have more than one condition – for example, they may have Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia at the same time.
Vascular dementia is a common form of dementia that’s estimated to affect more than 135,000 people in the UK.
There is currently no specific treatment for vascular dementia and no way to reverse the damage to the brain that has already occurred.
However, there is treatment that may help to slow down the progression of the condition. Medicines and lifestyle changes can be recommended to tackle any underlying cause, such as high blood pressure.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.
Whether you attend a face-to-face Information Session or watch the online video, Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts. https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/.
Please note that Grove House Practice is a Wellbeing Practice, for further information please click the link below:
You may also find the following websites useful
Admiral Nurses are a local service who works collaboratively with families, helping them cope with the fear, uncertainty and difficult everyday reality of dementia. They focus on the needs of the family, including psychological support.
Ask your GP for further information on the service.