The word dementia describes a variety of symptoms that may include difficulties with memory, thinking, problem solving and language, as well as changes in mood and personality. There are many different types of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease being the most common one.
If you are concerned about someone because of memory problems or changes in their behaviour or mood, the first person to contact is their GP who will determine whether the person needs to be referred to Lewisham Memory Services for a possible diagnosis. Diagnosing dementia can take time as many other illnesses need to be ruled out. The symptoms of some dementias can be helped with drugs, but the benefits are small. Non-drug treatments such as finding activities and the right support for the person with dementia are just as important.
Dementia affects everyone in different ways and is a complex and unpredictable illness. Finding out that someone you love has dementia can be a confusing and upsetting time and at Carers Lewisham we are here to help you at all stages of the illness. We offer specialist dementia advice, information and support to the families or friends of the person who are supporting the person with dementia. We work closely with other organisations in the Borough of Lewisham who offer services to those with dementia and can therefore help you to access any practical help you may need. We can provide information about the illness and help you to cope with the challenges it may bring, as well as financial advice (disability benefits etc.) and emotional support.