Discovering useful dementia websites and resources
Dementia can be a very mysterious and frightening illness, especially when you’re confused about what it could mean for you or for someone you care about. Demystify the disease by making sure you’re well informed about the symptoms, treatment and defining characteristics of dementia.
There are many different resources available online – from personal accounts written by sufferers to medical definitions provided by professionals – and reading widely can help improve your understanding and leave you feeling more empowered.
Find out more about dementia
Dementia is a name that’s used to describe a number of symptoms, including memory loss, confusion and mood changes. It can be caused by a number of conditions. While Alzheimer’s is the most common cause, sufferers may also be diagnosed with vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies or frontotemporal dementia. For many sufferers, dementia makes it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks and there are a range of medical and non-medical treatments that can help.
A couple of good resources for finding out more about dementia and its treatment are the Alzheimer’s Society’s guide to dementia and the NHS Choices dementia section. Learning more about dementia and knowing which symptoms to look out for can help secure a diagnosis more quickly and the earlier a diagnosis is given, the sooner a treatment plan can be put in place. With the right support and treatment, many people with dementia live full and fulfilling lives and finding out early gives them (and their family and friends) the chance to make plans for the future.
Alzheimer’s Research UK has an excellent guide to the symptoms and signs that could indicate dementia. As the symptoms of dementia tend to develop slowly, it’s very easy to miss the early signs. The main things to watch out for are changes to your memory or general mental functioning, problems with carrying out daily tasks or changes to your personality. If you recognise any of these signs in yourself or in a loved one, making an appointment with a GP is the best way to either reassure you or refer you to a specialist for further tests.
Help with dementia
While a diagnosis can be a shock, the right treatment and a good support network can help ensure a brighter future. A good place to turn to when you have a lot of questions about the diagnosis is Alzheimer Society’s Talking Point Forum. This is a friendly and informative forum that connects people and gives them a space to ask for advice, join in discussions and share information. Dementia UK also offers some links and connections to support and carers that can be very useful.
It’s also well worth having a look at a new initiative, called Dementia Friends, which aims to make the UK a more welcoming place for dementia sufferers. It invites people in England and Wales to volunteer and offer a helping hand in their community, creating a wonderful resource to help people with dementia carry out day-to-day tasks successfully.