As you get older, especially if you’re over 65, you might find that your memory isn’t what it used to be.
If you’re getting increasingly forgetful and it’s affecting your everyday life, it might be a good idea to have a chat with your GP about the early signs of dementia.
It’s estimated that there are about 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, and that many people live with the condition without knowing they have it.
But dementia isn’t just about memory loss. It can also affect the way you speak, think, feel and behave.
Lowering the risk of dementia
There are a number of ways you can help lower the risk of dementia.
- Stop smoking
- Be more active
- Reduce your alcohol consumption
- Improve your diet
- Lose weight if necessary and maintain a healthy weight
- Stay mentally active – for example, do puzzles or learn a second language
- Remain socially active to improve your mood, relieve stress, reduce risk of depression and combat loneliness
Dementia advice and guidance
If you’re aged 40-60, the NHS One You campaign has some great tips and advice to help you improve your health and reduce the risk of dementia.
Check out these two short videos from local GP Dr Roshan Jayalath – the benefits of seeking advice for memory problems and how you can lower the risk of developing dementia.
If you’re worried about dementia, the NHS has produced an about dementia guide with more information. Or if you’re worried about your memory, or the memory of someone close to you, take a look at this leaflet from The Alzheimer’s Society, who also offer legal advice.
See the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) dementia web page for more information on early diagnosis.
Local services and resources
If you’ve been diagnosed with dementia or are caring for someone with dementia, you may also find these additional local resources helpful.
- Age UK Bedfordshire – Caring for someone with dementia
- Alzheimers Society
- Bedfordshire Memory Navigation Service
- Carers in Bedfordshire
- Tibbs Dementia Foundation
Carers in Beds have produced a dementia handbook, which can help you find the support and services available in Bedfordshire, including suggestions from people living with Dementia and their carers.
The Red Bag scheme is in operation across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes which keeps a care home resident’s paperwork, medication and personal items together in a ‘red bag’ if they need to be admitted to hospital so they can be discharged more smoothly.
If you are registered with a GP in Bedfordshire (excluding Luton), the Dementia Intensive Support Service (DISS) provided by East London NHS Foundation Trust, provides specialist support to those living with dementia, as well as the family and carers.