What is dementia
The word 'dementia' describes a set of symptoms that over time can affect memory, problem-solving, language and behaviour.
Different types of dementia can affect people differently. However, there are some common early symptoms which include:
- memory loss
- difficulty concentrating
- finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks
- struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- being confused about time and place
- mood changes
The Alzheimer’s Society explains what dementia is on their What is dementia? Symptoms, causes and treatments page.
What to do if you’re worried about your memory
If you or a loved one are worried about memory loss, confusion or language difficulties or behaviour changes, speak to your GP. There can be reasons other than dementia that cause these symptoms. Your GP can arrange tests to help rule out other causes.
If your GP thinks you have dementia, they may refer you to the Memory Assessment Service. The Memory Assessment Service can do memory tests, make a diagnosis and give ongoing support and information. If you are referred to the Memory Assessment Service you will receive a named Memory Support Worker to support you throughout your journey.
There are benefits in receiving a diagnosis of dementia, as it enables access to treatment and support that would otherwise be unavailable.
With the right help and support, many people can live well with dementia.
Find out more about how dementia is diagnosed on the NHS website.
Find out more about how dementia is diagnosed on the Memory Assessment Service website.
Where to get help
If you have dementia your named Memory Support Worker will support and connect you and your loved ones to services, including peer support groups that provide support, information and friendship. Your Memory Support Worker will develop your Care Plan in partnership with you.
There are local services for people with dementia and their loved ones.
- get support from Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia advisers who can support you before, during and after diagnosis by phone or face to face, as well as connect you to a range of local services
- find local dementia friendly activities through the Brighton & Hove Ageing Well service
- find local organisations and services on our Health and Adult Social Care directory
- get information and support about Young Onset Dementia on the Dementia UK website
- get help if you’re a carer from the Carers Hub
If you find it difficult to cope at home, ask for an assessment from Adult Social Care. They can tell you what care and support is available.
If you need help to express your views and wishes, find out how an advocate could help.
Brighton & Hove Care Journey booklet
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, to order our booklet called Brighton & Hove Care Journey, which provides information on local dementia care services.
There are a number of resources that can make it easier to get support when you are out in the community and to help you maintain your independence.
Alzheimer’s Society Helpcards are a free tool for people with memory problems and dementia. You can write your name and what you need support with on the card and show it to someone if you need support.
Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyards can be used to discreetly indicate that you may need additional support or just a little more time.
Helping Hand is an assistance card scheme providing bus users with a way to discreetly and directly advise of any assistance you may require.
'This is me' is a simple leaflet for anyone living with dementia or experiencing delirium or other communication difficulties. This tool records important details about you such as a your cultural and family background and preferences and routines to enable professionals to better understand you and tailor your care.
The Herbert Protocol is a form that your or your loved one can fill in. It contains a list of information to help the police if you go missing.