What should I do if I am worried?
If you are worried about your memory talk to your GP. They will listen to your concerns and possibly arrange for further investigation. You may be referred to a local memory clinic or hospital specialist for assessment where a formal diagnosis can be made.
If you are concerned about the memory of someone close to you, encourage them to visit their GP. You might start the conversation by gently asking the person if they’ve been feeling any different from usual or are struggling with anything. If you know who their GP is you can contact the surgery and request a review and referral to the Memory Service at the Woodland Centre. A meeting with the GP would check that there are no other physical conditions that may be affecting their memory.
If you do not know who their GP is you can refer
- Through the CNWL Single Point of Access on 0800 0234 650 which operates 24 hours/7 days a week
- Contact the Woodland Centre on 01895 891073 Monday – Friday 9-5 and speak to Jennifer Grogan Community Mental Health Team and Memory Service Manager.
It’s important to know that there are many reasons for memory loss apart from dementia. These can include depression, infections and vitamin and thyroid deficiencies. The earlier you seek help the better, as there may be support or treatment available that can help you.
If you think you qualify for help from social services under the Care Act or you would like to find out if you are entitled to any services, you can ask for an assessment from the council. They can signpost you to relevant services or work with you to arrange or provide services to support you at home. You can do the assessment online by clicking here.
Whether a diagnosis of dementia comes as a shock or confirms your suspicions, you may experience a range of emotions – you might feel frightened, angry, worried, sad or frustrated. However, you may also be relieved to find there is a medical reason for the memory problems.
In some cases a specialist may be able to prescribe drugs that can lessen symptoms for a while. You should also be offered the chance to attend groups or take part in activities that may help you and any carer to cope better.
Although there is currently no cure for dementia, with treatment, advice and support, many people who have the condition lead active, fulfilling lives.
The Hillingdon Admiral Nurse Service
The Hillingdon Admiral Nurse Service works with families affected by dementia in the community. The adopt a holistic approach with the aim to empower family carers and encourage problem solving approaches as well as providing psychological support.
The Hillingdon Admiral Nurse Team is based at the Civic Centre in Uxbridge and operates on the following criteria:
- The person cared for should have a diagnosis of dementia or is very likely to have a dementia.
- The person with dementia must live in the London Borough of Hillingdon.
- The carer has a significant role in caring for that person and is unpaid.
- The person with dementia is not currently in full time care and there are no plans for the person with dementia to go into full time care.
- When there is a carer/person with dementia conflict, or a conflict exists within the family, which significantly affects the carers ability to care for the person with dementia.
- Where there is a difficulty understanding or coming to terms with the diagnosis that is significantly affecting the carers wellbeing or ability to cope.
- When there is an emotional support need for the carer (i.e. the carer requires significant help to explore feelings of loss or grief associated with caring).
Professionals and informal carers can call The Admiral Nurse Team on 01895 556480 to make a referral.
For more information, you can visit dementiauk.orgLast reviewed: 22/07/2016