Dementia has been described as the biggest, modern mental health and care condition of a generation with someone being diagnosed with the condition every four seconds. In North Lincolnshire there were just over 1000 people diagnosed with dementia in 2012-13 but we know that this only represents half of the actual number of local people with dementia. And the numbers are set to rise by an estimated 35% in the next 10 years.
However, if we can diagnose dementia early, steps can be taken to help patients to 'live well with dementia' through:
- Access to treatment to slow down the progress of the condition and manage it as it develops
- Access to advice and support services, for example, financial help, for both the patient and their families, friends and carers
- Time for everyone concerned to adjust and prepare for the future
The Dementia Symptoms Test
If you are concerned that a loved one is starting to become more forgetful, confused or is finding some everyday thinking tasks more difficult, try our simple 'Dementia Symptoms Test' to see whether they might be showing the early signs of dementia.*
The Alzheimer's Questionnaire
This is a more detailed, 21 question test* designed to measure mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Whilst the questionnaire is considered quite accurate, it should not be used as a definitive guide to diagnosing dementia or Alzheimer's disease, but as a tool to test whether further assessment by a GP is needed.
Take the test (opens in a new window)
*** New *** Cognitive Function Test
This latest test* is aimed at anyone aged 50 - 70. It assesses the particpant's chances of developing Alzheimer's disease based on their current level of cognitive ability and gives advice on what people can do to reduce their risk through diet and lifestyle changes. The test has been developed by one of Britain's leading authorities on Alzheimer's disease, Professor David Smith from Oxford University and the charity, Food for the Brain. The Daily Express reported on the test earlier this year - read their article here.
To take the test, click here
*Any test results should be discussed with a GP for a proper diagnosis
The difference between dementia and Alzheimer's disease
Below are some factsheets from the Alzheimer's Society to help answer this question.
More on symptoms of dementia
NHS Choices has a dedicated web page, as part of its Dementia Guide section, which explains some of the symptoms of dementia from early signs through to more advanced stages of the condition. It also explains the various different types of dementia.
Click here to go to the NHS Choices Dementia Guide.
Support for those living with dementia
The Dementia Directory
The Dementia Directory is the first virtual resource in the North Lincolnshire area specifically focused on providing high quality and responsive information for people affected by dementia. It has been produced by the Alzheimer's Society in partnership with the CCG and North Lincolnshire Council as a single point of access for finding local advice and support, including details of local dementia support groups, courses for dementia carers and where to get advice about financial help and care services.
The Dementia Directory is available at www.ddnl.org.uk
'Living well with dementia' - a short film from the Alzheimer's Society
The Alzheimer's Society in North and North East Lincolnshire have produced a short, promotional film with the message 'You can live well with dementia'. The film shows how the Alzheimer's Society can provide amazing support for people living with dementia and their family and carers.
Click on the image to watch the film (opens in You Tube).
You can contact the North Lincolnshire Alzheimer's Society on 01724 848594 or e-mail email@example.com
You can also visit the national Alzheimer's Society web site www.alzheimers.org.uk where you will find a wide range of information and advice about MCI, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, including details of the support services and schemes available.
NHS Choices is another good source of information and advice. Check out their 'Dementia Guide'
The Mental Health Foundation also provides a wealth of information about living well with dementia, including a film about their peer support programme and their self-help guide called 'Still Going Strong'. Find out more here
Community Well Being Hubs
Four Community Well Being Hubs have recently been set up in Barton, Brigg, Scunthorpe and Epworth to provide a network of well being services and activities to communities across North Lincolnshire. They offer a range of dementia support services:
A memory cafe offers people with dementia and their carers the chance to socialise and share information. In this video, one group talks about what the experience means to them and how they benefit from the specific activities offered at the cafe. Watch the video (opens on the NHS Choices web site)
Singing for the Brain
Singing for the Brain uses singing to bring people together in a friendly and stimulating social environment. Singing is not only an enjoyable activity, it can also provide a way for people with dementia, along with their carers, to express themselves and socialise with others in a fun and supportive group. Hidden in the fun are activities which build on the well-known preserved memory for song and music in the brain. Even when many memories are hard to retrieve, music is especially easy to recall.
Click here for upcoming dates of memory cafes and singing for the brain sessions taking place at the Community Well-being Hubs.
Find out about other activites going on at your local Community Well-being Hub on the North Lincolnshire Council web site here.
Or call 01724 277906 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Carers Information and Support Programme (CrISP)
The CrISP Programme provides an opportunity for dementia carers to talk in a friendly and confidential environment about their experiences of caring and supporting the person with dementia and the impact it is having on them.
The workshops aim to provide carers with information and support and cover topics such as:
- Understanding dementia
- Legal and financial issues and money matters
- Providing support and care
- Coping day to day
For more information or to book a place, please contact the Alzheimer's Society North Lincolnshire office on 01724 848 594.
North Lincolnshire Carers Support Centre also run courses for people caring for someone with dementia. Visit www.carerssupportcentre.com/north-lincolnshire/dementia for more details.
The Herbert Protocol
Nothing is more worrying or distressing than when a loved one or friend goes missing or doesn’t return home when expected.
For people living with or caring for someone with Dementia, this may be quite common. The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme adopted by Humberside Police and other police services across the country.
The basis of the scheme is for vital information about the person such as medication, description, photograph, significant places in the person’s life and their daily routine, to be recorded on a form.
The form should then be stored safely – either in electronic format on a computer, or a printed version. It may need to be located quickly, at any time of day or night, by the person who needs the information to begin the initial searches.
When the form is complete, it will contain confidential information about a person so it should be stored securely. Any partner agency required to complete the form will become the data controllers and must store it appropriately.
The form can be downloaded or printed from the Humberside Police website at www.humberside.police.uk/issues/vulnerability or pick one up from your local police station.
The police will only ask for the form, or the information in the form, if the person is reported missing. The information will help the police and other agencies locate the missing person as quickly as possible and return them to safety.
Other useful links
Dementia Action Alliance www.dementiaaction.org.uk
Dementia Friends www.dementiafriends.org.uk
North Lincolnshire Memory Assessment and Therapy Service (MATS) provides a range of services to people who have a memory problem including a memory clinic that receives referrals from your GP. Click here for more details.
Information about how counselling may be of help to people affected by dementia and their families and carers http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/dementia.html.