Memory problems do not automatically mean a person has dementia. They are most common in people aged over 65 years old but, in rare circumstances, memory problems can also affect people in their 30s and 40s for various reasons.
If memory problems are more serious and are a sign of dementia, early diagnosis is really important to ensure the right support is made available so a person can live as well as possible with dementia, in their own home and local community.
If you are concerned about your or someone else’s memory problems, make an appointment to see your GP and discuss your concerns with them.
When you go to visit the GP, it may be useful for the GP if you take notes of:
- eating and drinking habits
- exercise, social, work and activity routines
- the symptoms experienced (what they are like, when they occur and how often, what happens as a result of symptoms)
- any over-the-counter and complementary medicines being taken
- how mood and life have been for recently.
Your GP will first check to see if your memory problems are caused by the above or anything in your medical history. Your GP may send you for some routine tests.
Your GP may refer you to the local NHS Memory Service where professionals will run memory tests, with additional scans and blood tests if needed. If a diagnosis of dementia is given, early intervention and treatment give the opportunity to make choices about how to live as well as possible with dementia.
If You are Given a Diagnosis of Dementia…
The Bromley Dementia Support Hub is the first point of call for anyone diagnosed with dementia living in the London Borough of Bromley. They provide one-stop access to all dementia support in the borough, supporting people with dementia and their family and friends caring for them.
Residents of the London Borough of Lewisham diagnosed with dementia will normally be referred to Lewisham MindCare Dementia Support. Alternatively, you can contact Lewisham MindCare directly yourself.