Dementia and Memory Loss

If you're becoming increasingly forgetful, particularly if you're over the age of 65, it may be a good idea to talk to your GP about the early signs of dementia.

As you get older, you may find that memory loss becomes a problem. It's normal for your memory to be affected by age, stress, tiredness, or certain illnesses and medications. This can be annoying if it happens occasionally, but if it's affecting your daily life or is worrying you or someone you know, you should seek help from your GP.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a common condition that affects about 800,000 people in the UK. Your risk of developing dementia increases as you get older, and the condition usually occurs in people over the age of 65.

Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. This includes problems with:

  • Memory loss
  • Thinking speed
  • Mental agility
  • Language
  • Understanding
  • Judgment

People with dementia can become apathetic or uninterested in their usual activities, and have problems controlling their emotions. They may also find social situations challenging, lose interest in socialising and aspects of their personality may change.

A person with dementia may lose empathy (understanding and compassion), they may see or hear things that other people do not, or they may make false claims or statements.

As dementia affects a person's mental abilities, they may find planning and organising difficult. Maintaining their independence may also become a problem. A person with dementia will therefore usually need help from friends or relatives, including help with decision-making.

Your GP will discuss the possible causes of memory loss with you, including dementia. Other symptoms can include:

  • increasing difficulties with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning
  • Depression
  • Changes in personality and mood
  • Periods of mental confusion
  • Difficulty finding the right words

Most types of dementia can't be cured, but if it is detected early there are ways you can slow it down and maintain mental function.

Why is it important to get a diagnosis?

An early diagnosis can help people with dementia get the right treatment and support, and help those close to them to prepare and plan for the future. With treatment and support, many people are able to lead active, fulfilled lives.

Local Dementia Services

There are a number of services available that can provide advice, information and guidance. Some of the services are specifically for people affected by dementia, while others provide advice, information and guidance across a broad range of topics. If you contact one of these services and they cannot advise you with your problem, they should be able to point you in the direction of someone who can.

Admiral Nurses

Admiral Nurses are mental health nurses who specialise in helping the carers of people with dementia from the point of diagnosis. They are skilled at assessing the needs of people with dementia as well as the needs of their families and carers. Admiral Nurses work in the community and other settings and they provide information and practical advice, emotional and psychological support, and guidance about accessing services.
020 3219 0911
info@dementiauk.org

Age UK Kensington & Chelsea

Age UK Kensington & Chelsea operates a number of specialist advice and home support services for older people, including people living with dementia and their carers. You can contact their Information and Advice Team by telephone, or by visiting their offices from Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm. A Wayfinder service is also available, designed to help you find out about local activities and organisations for support and social interaction.
020 8969 9105
information@aukc.org.uk
1 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XL

Alzheimer’s Society

The Society provides reliable and up to date information to help with every aspect of living with dementia - from understanding your diagnosis and assessment, to dealing with the financial challenges you may encounter. The Society produces more than a hundred free factsheets about dementia which answer many of the most common questions, and they publish a monthly magazine as well as brochures and leaflets.
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The Alzheimer’s Society also runs a number of other services. Their National Dementia Helpline is a confidential service, and callers will speak to trained advisers who can provide information, support and guidance. The Society also runs Talking Point – an online support and discussion forum for anyone affected by dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society
National Dementia helpline
0300 222 1122
www.alzheimers.org.uk

Benefit Enquiry Line

This is a government run national helpline providing advice on welfare benefits, including what you may be entitled to and how to apply. Advice includes disability benefits, mental health and advice for carers.

0800 882 200
www.gov.uk/benefit-enquiry-line

Carers Kensington and Chelsea

Carers Kensington and Chelsea is part of Carers UK and offers local support groups, training activities and information and advice for carers who support someone living in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, including carers of people with dementia.

0800 032 1089
kandc@carersuk.org

Citizens Advice Bureau

Although the Citizens Advice Bureau does not offer a specific service to people with dementia, it offers free, independent and confidential advice and can help with a range of issues including advice on matters such as housing, welfare benefits, legal matters and money problems.

There are two offices in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; one in Kensington at 140 Ladbroke Grove, W10 5ND (opposite Ladbroke Grove underground station) and one in Chelsea at the Old Town Hall, King’s Road, SW3 5EE. The same telephone enquiry line is used for both services.

0844 826 9708

Independent Age

Independent Age (now merged with Counsel and Care) is a national charity working with older people, their families and carers. They provide personalised, in-depth advice and information on care and support to people over 60. They specialise in issues about community care and vulnerable older people, such as staying in your own home, moving into a care home and paying for care. They produce over 50 information guides and factsheets about the most common issues affecting older people.

0845 300 7585

Dementia Advisor

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Dementia Advisor provides advice, information and guidance to people with dementia who live in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and their carers, relatives and supporters. The Dementia Advisor is employed by Age UK Kensington & Chelsea and works closely with the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Memory Service, which is run by the local NHS. The Dementia Advisor is a continuous point of contact. They can help link people with dementia, their families and carers into services they may require or benefit from along their dementia journey, and help them to navigate their way through the multitude of services. They can also offer information and advice and help people develop strategies to manage their memory at home. A large part of their role is social inclusion – helping to keep people active and engaged in their community.

The Dementia Advisor can visit people who are living alone or who are housebound. You may be referred to the Dementia Advisor by the Memory Service or you may contact them independently.

020 8960 8137

Elderly Accommodation Counsel

The Elderly Accommodation Counsel is a national charity whose aim is to help older people make informed choices about meeting their housing needs.

020 7820 1343

www.eac.org.uk
enquiries@eac.org.uk
EAC 3rd Floor 89 Albert Embankment
London, SE1 7TP

The National Careline

The National Careline is a national not for profit company offering information about all aspects of care and support for older people, their carers and families, including legal issues, welfare benefits, mobility and choosing care options.

0800 0699 784
www.thenationalcareline.org

POhWER Advocacy Service

POhWER offers free, confidential and independent advocacy services to people living in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, helping people to resolve issues, receive services they need and have their voices heard.

0300 456 2370
www.pohwer.net
pohwer@pohwer.net

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Social Services Line

If you have questions regarding receiving care from local Social Services or if you require an assessment of your needs, you can enquire directly through the Social Services line on:

020 7361 3013
socialservices@rbkc.gov.uk

Out of Hours Duty Social Worker

(for emergencies out of normal working hours)
020 7373 2227

Music for Life

Music for Life is a project pioneering and developing interactive music workshops for people living with dementia. Its aim is to enhance the quality of life of its participants and demonstrate to those working with people with advanced dementia the emotional, social and physical potential of people in their care. During projects, specially trained musicians work alongside small groups of people living with dementia and care staff, drawing out individuals and enhancing communication. Musicians interact with participants using a variety of instruments. This enables people who may be isolated and disempowered as a result of losses associated with the later stages of dementia to explore, enjoy, discover, reminisce and communicate in new ways, identifying and building on areas still intact. Music for Life delivers:

  • Music improvisation workshops for people living with dementia
  • Working with staff to enhance their understanding of the emotional needs of people living with dementia as part of a person-centred approach to dementia care
  • Training and developing professional musicians to work in this field

For more information about Music for Life please email Kate Whitaker, Music for Life Project Manager, or call 020 7258 8248.
http://wigmore-hall.org.uk/learning/music-for-life


Dementia & Memory loss Videos
Choose Video Language

These films were developed by the NEIL Programme at Trinity College Dublin to address your fears about memory loss and dementia and provide practical advice about brain health. Each 2-minute film answers a key question related to brain health and dementia that will increase your understanding of how memory works, allay your fears or inspire you to consider your brain health and take actions that will improve the quality of your life.

Can your memory go completely?

Learn about different types of memory and take comfort in knowing that it is simply not possible to lose your memory completely.

Watch the video

How does memory work?

Find out how memories are made and what you can do to help your memory?

Watch the video

When should I be concerned about my memory?

Knowing when a memory problem warrants a visit to the doctor can be tricky. This film may help you to decide whether it might be worth chatting to your doctor.

Watch the video

I have trouble remembering things - am I getting dementia?

It's important to know when to see your doctor about memory concerns but it's equally important to know that forgetting someone's name doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting dementia.

Watch the video

Why is attention important?

You may be surprised to learn that some of your memory lapses are really failures of attention. Focussing your attention on what you are doing, when you are doing it, can help to reduce the number of absent-minded moments in your life.

Watch the video

I have Alzheimer's Disease - what can I do to help myself and improve my day-to-day life?

While an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis can feel like a bad place to be, there are reasons to be hopeful as well as things that you can do to improve the quality of your life.

Watch the video

What can you do to keep your brain healthy?

Find out how keeping active is important for brain health.

Watch the video

How can we include people with dementia in our community?

If you have been diagnosed with dementia you need a community that is inclusive, understanding and friendly.

Watch the video

What's the difference between Alzheimer's Disease and dementia?

If you have been confused by these terms in the past, or mistakenly thought that they were the same thing, you might want to watch this film.

Watch the video

I'm a doctor - is there a good way to check out a memory complaint?

A five-step brain health check for doctors.

Watch the video

Can your memory go completely?

Learn about different types of memory and take comfort in knowing that it is simply not possible to lose your memory completely.

Watch the video

How does memory work?

Find out how memories are made and what you can do to help your memory?

Watch the video

When should I be concerned about my memory?

Knowing when a memory problem warrants a visit to the doctor can be tricky. This film may help you to decide whether it might be worth chatting to your doctor.

Watch the video

I have trouble remembering things - am I getting dementia?

It's important to know when to see your doctor about memory concerns but it's equally important to know that forgetting someone's name doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting dementia.

Watch the video

Why is attention important?

You may be surprised to learn that some of your memory lapses are really failures of attention. Focussing your attention on what you are doing, when you are doing it, can help to reduce the number of absent-minded moments in your life.

Watch the video

I have Alzheimer's Disease - what can I do to help myself and improve my day-to-day life?

While an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis can feel like a bad place to be, there are reasons to be hopeful as well as things that you can do to improve the quality of your life.

Watch the video

What can you do to keep your brain healthy?

Find out how keeping active is important for brain health.

Watch the video

How can we include people with dementia in our community?

If you have been diagnosed with dementia you need a community that is inclusive, understanding and friendly.

Watch the video

What's the difference between Alzheimer's Disease and dementia?

If you have been confused by these terms in the past, or mistakenly thought that they were the same thing, you might want to watch this film.

Watch the video

I'm a doctor - is there a good way to check out a memory complaint?

A five-step brain health check for doctors.

Watch the video

Can your memory go completely?

Learn about different types of memory and take comfort in knowing that it is simply not possible to lose your memory completely.

Watch the video

How does memory work?

Find out how memories are made and what you can do to help your memory?

Watch the video

When should I be concerned about my memory?

Knowing when a memory problem warrants a visit to the doctor can be tricky. This film may help you to decide whether it might be worth chatting to your doctor.

Watch the video

I have trouble remembering things - am I getting dementia?

It's important to know when to see your doctor about memory concerns but it's equally important to know that forgetting someone's name doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting dementia.

Watch the video

Why is attention important?

You may be surprised to learn that some of your memory lapses are really failures of attention. Focussing your attention on what you are doing, when you are doing it, can help to reduce the number of absent-minded moments in your life.

Watch the video

I have Alzheimer's Disease - what can I do to help myself and improve my day-to-day life?

While an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis can feel like a bad place to be, there are reasons to be hopeful as well as things that you can do to improve the quality of your life.

Watch the video

What can you do to keep your brain healthy?

Find out how keeping active is important for brain health.

Watch the video

How can we include people with dementia in our community?

If you have been diagnosed with dementia you need a community that is inclusive, understanding and friendly.

Watch the video

What's the difference between Alzheimer's Disease and dementia?

If you have been confused by these terms in the past, or mistakenly thought that they were the same thing, you might want to watch this film.

Watch the video

I'm a doctor - is there a good way to check out a memory complaint?

A five-step brain health check for doctors.

Watch the video

Can your memory go completely?

Learn about different types of memory and take comfort in knowing that it is simply not possible to lose your memory completely.

Watch the video

How does memory work?

Find out how memories are made and what you can do to help your memory?

Watch the video

When should I be concerned about my memory?

Knowing when a memory problem warrants a visit to the doctor can be tricky. This film may help you to decide whether it might be worth chatting to your doctor.

Watch the video

I have trouble remembering things - am I getting dementia?

It's important to know when to see your doctor about memory concerns but it's equally important to know that forgetting someone's name doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting dementia.

Watch the video

Why is attention important?

You may be surprised to learn that some of your memory lapses are really failures of attention. Focussing your attention on what you are doing, when you are doing it, can help to reduce the number of absent-minded moments in your life.

Watch the video

I have Alzheimer's Disease - what can I do to help myself and improve my day-to-day life?

While an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis can feel like a bad place to be, there are reasons to be hopeful as well as things that you can do to improve the quality of your life.

Watch the video

What can you do to keep your brain healthy?

Find out how keeping active is important for brain health.

How can we include people with dementia in our community?

If you have been diagnosed with dementia you need a community that is inclusive, understanding and friendly.

Watch the video

What's the difference between Alzheimer's Disease and dementia?

If you have been confused by these terms in the past, or mistakenly thought that they were the same thing, you might want to watch this film.

Watch the video

I'm a doctor - is there a good way to check out a memory complaint?

A five-step brain health check for doctors.

Watch the video

Can your memory go completely?

Learn about different types of memory and take comfort in knowing that it is simply not possible to lose your memory completely.

Watch the video

How does memory work?

Find out how memories are made and what you can do to help your memory?

Watch the video

When should I be concerned about my memory?

Knowing when a memory problem warrants a visit to the doctor can be tricky. This film may help you to decide whether it might be worth chatting to your doctor.

Watch the video

I have trouble remembering things - am I getting dementia?

It's important to know when to see your doctor about memory concerns but it's equally important to know that forgetting someone's name doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting dementia.

Watch the video

Why is attention important?

You may be surprised to learn that some of your memory lapses are really failures of attention. Focussing your attention on what you are doing, when you are doing it, can help to reduce the number of absent-minded moments in your life.

Watch the video

I have Alzheimer's Disease - what can I do to help myself and improve my day-to-day life?

While an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis can feel like a bad place to be, there are reasons to be hopeful as well as things that you can do to improve the quality of your life.

Watch the video

What can you do to keep your brain healthy?

Find out how keeping active is important for brain health.

Watch the video

How can we include people with dementia in our community?

If you have been diagnosed with dementia you need a community that is inclusive, understanding and friendly.

Watch the video

What's the difference between Alzheimer's Disease and dementia?

If you have been confused by these terms in the past, or mistakenly thought that they were the same thing, you might want to watch this film.

Watch the video

I'm a doctor - is there a good way to check out a memory complaint?

A five-step brain health check for doctors.

Watch the video

Can your memory go completely?

Learn about different types of memory and take comfort in knowing that it is simply not possible to lose your memory completely.

Watch the video

How does memory work?

Find out how memories are made and what you can do to help your memory?

Watch the video

When should I be concerned about my memory?

Knowing when a memory problem warrants a visit to the doctor can be tricky. This film may help you to decide whether it might be worth chatting to your doctor.

Watch the video

I have trouble remembering things - am I getting dementia?

It's important to know when to see your doctor about memory concerns but it's equally important to know that forgetting someone's name doesn't necessarily mean that you are getting dementia.

Watch the video

Why is attention important?

You may be surprised to learn that some of your memory lapses are really failures of attention. Focussing your attention on what you are doing, when you are doing it, can help to reduce the number of absent-minded moments in your life.

Watch the video

I have Alzheimer's Disease - what can I do to help myself and improve my day-to-day life?

While an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis can feel like a bad place to be, there are reasons to be hopeful as well as things that you can do to improve the quality of your life.

Watch the video

What can you do to keep your brain healthy?

Find out how keeping active is important for brain health.

Watch the video

How can we include people with dementia in our community?

If you have been diagnosed with dementia you need a community that is inclusive, understanding and friendly.

Watch the video

What's the difference between Alzheimer's Disease and dementia?

If you have been confused by these terms in the past, or mistakenly thought that they were the same thing, you might want to watch this film.

Watch the video

I'm a doctor - is there a good way to check out a memory complaint?

A five-step brain health check for doctors.

Watch the video