The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms which may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.
Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one. The specific symptoms someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain which are damaged, and the disease causing the dementia.
The Alzheimer's Society has published a collection of factsheets, which are designed to support and inform anyone affected by dementia. These include information relating to causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and living with dementia.
Are you worried you may have dementia? In the first instance, you should contact your GP. If your GP shares your concerns, they may refer you to the Shropshire Memory Service, or you can self-refer. This service offers a verbal assessment and other diagnostic procedures. For more information please take a look at the 'Tests for diagnosing dementia' page on the NHS Choices website.
Are you concerned about someone else? If you've noticed symptoms of dementia in someone you know, you should encourage them to see their GP. If you're finding this difficult, you can contact the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22.
For more information about the plans and developments for people who are affected by dementia in Shropshire, please read our Dementia Strategy 2017-2020.