Dementia is a common condition which is associated with a decline in brain function.
Your risk of developing dementia increases over the age of 65 years.
Dementia can cause the following problems:
- Memory loss
- Delayed thinking speed
- Mental agility reduced
- Poor language
- Difficulty understanding
- Altered judgment
Some patients with dementia find they are unable to cope with their normal daily activities, struggle with social situations, and lose interest in socializing. Their personality can also change.
When to see a doctor
If you are worried about your memory, or if you are struggling to perform your normal daily activities due to altered understanding or/ and judgment you may need to see your GP.
What to expect from your GP
Your Doctor will ask about your symptoms, they will perform a memory exercise to assess your problem.
They will ask you about other aspects of your health like the medication you are taking and it may include a physical examination.
The Doctor will organize some blood tests to help with their assessment.
Once the GP has made their assessment, they may refer you to a specialist for further assessment.
Why is it important to get a diagnosis?There is currently no cure for Dementia; however it is beneficial to get diagnosed at its early stages as there is treatment to slow down the progression of the disease.
Additionally, a variety of treatable conditions can present with symptoms like dementia so it is very important not to be afraid of seeing the GP.
With a confirmed diagnosis it also ensures that a patient gets the correct treatment, support and it allows family/ friends to plan for the future.
Do not forget that there are a lot of people living with dementia that live active, happy lives.
Things to remember
If you are having memory problems it does not mean you have dementia, as there are other causes, such as: depression, anxiety, stress, drug side effects or other health problems.
NHS sources other references
You can read more about Dementia by visiting the follwing websites.
Change for life Wales have also issued new information, which may be useful to read. Click here to read online.
Word from our GP
“I cannot emphasize how important it is to see your GP if you have any concerns as many cases will not be dementia.
If it does prove to be the case then early intervention for both patients and their families is crucial.”
Click here to read our interview with Dr Crane on what you need to know about Dementia if you think you or a loved one may be affected.