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The term 'dementia' describes a set of symptoms including memory loss, mood changes, and problems with communications and reasoning. It is caused by diseases of the brain, the most common being Alzheimer’s. Although dementia is more common in people over the age of 65, it can also affect younger people.
On these pages, you will find a range of information, advice and resources to help you understand more about dementia and the practical things that people living with dementia can do to live well and retain their independence for as long as possible. You will also find information for family and friends who are caring for someone with dementia, to help them maintain their own health and wellbeing.
If you are worried that you may be developing dementia, please contact your GP to discuss your concerns. It might be helpful to have someone with you for support.
The Alzheimer's Society is providing information, advice and support for carers and people affected by dementia during the pandemic. This support is available across West Sussex.
The Alzheimer’s Society has developed a simple explanation of what dementia is, its causes and symptoms. It also describes some of the different types of dementia.
On the Alzheimer's Research UK website you can also tour the brain and discover what different areas of the brain do and how they can be affected by dementia.
More information about the possible symptoms of each type of dementia can also be found on the NHS website.
A timely diagnosis and prompt follow-up support helps people with dementia and their families to take control of their lives and manage their condition well. Benefits include:
Vee is the daughter of an amazing mother, who was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s
Despite my mother being diagnosed, she is still amazing, thoughtful and caring. I have great admiration for how selfless she still is regardless of her diagnosis. She is always still so positive, happy and will always greet you with a smile. She still likes to take care of me with lovely home cooked food.
The early signs were that my mother was not able to retain information, she was forgetful and took a while to process certain words. The family noticed you would have to be more patient if you wanted to converse with her and at times you could see that she seemed overwhelmed when being asked questions or going to new or crowded places.
The diagnosis came as a surprise and was not expected at all. However, it was good for my parents to understand what it is. It has also explained some of my mother’s behaviours which in turn has provided us with awareness as well as finding ways to best support her.
Contact your GP to talk about your symptoms. It might be helpful to ask someone to support you through this process.
If you are concerned that someone you know may have dementia and are unsure how to help them, you can find useful information by visiting the NHS website.
The Dementia Assessment Service provides early assessment, diagnosis and treatment for people suspected of developing a dementia. It also offers support to family and friend carers following diagnosis. The service includes doctors, nurses, psychologists and occupational therapists. It works in partnership with dementia advisers.
Referral to the service is primarily through your GP but can also be made through health professionals in community teams, hospital consultants and learning disability services.
Currently, to protect you and NHS staff and prevent the spread of coronavirus, initial appointments may be online or by phone.
Following your diagnosis, you will be contacted by a Dementia Adviser from the Alzheimer’s Society who will offer support to you and your family and friend carers.
The adviser will give you information and advice and signpost you to other support, including information sessions such as Understanding Dementia, Living Well with Dementia and the Carers Information and Support Programme (CrISP).