Living Well with Dementia in Wiltshire
- What is dementia?
- Who gets dementia and why?
- What are the common symptoms to look out for?
- What help is available?
- Health services
- Social Services
- Patient support organisations
- Pensions and employment
- Legal issues
- Dementia Quality Mark
Welcome to the Dementia information pages
These pages will tell you all about dementia and the work we are doing in the county to raise awareness. Wiltshire Council is committed to raising the profile of dementia.
The term dementia is used to describe the symptons that might be brought about by one or more illnesses which may affect the brain. These include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Dementia affects about 417,000 people in the UK.
No single factor has been identified as a cause for dementia disease. It is likely that a combination of age, genetic inheritance, environmental factors, diet and general health conditions are responsible.
Age is the greatest risk factor for all the forms of dementia; it affects one in 14 people over the age of 65 and one in 6 people over the age of 80. However in the UK at least 15,000 people with dementia are under the age of 65.
If you are worried about yourself or a relative make an appointment to see the GP. The GP can find out if there is a reason for your symptoms, and they may refer you or your relative to see a hospital specialist for tests
Wiltshire Council has produced a DVD called There’s nothing wrong with my memory! which gives some basic tips and advice on how to recognise what is a memory problem and what is not. It will tell you what can cause memory problems, where to go to get help and what to do next.
These may include:
- Loss of memory − for example, forgetting the way home from the shops, or being unable to remember names and places, or what happened earlier the same day.
- Mood changes − particularly as parts of the brain that control emotion are affected by disease. People with dementia may also feel sad, frightened or angry about what is happening to them.
- Communication problems − a decline in the ability to talk, read and write.
- Difficulty with every day tasks.
- Loss of logic and ability to reason or use initiative.
- Disorientation in time and place.
In the later stages of dementia, the person affected will have problems carrying out everyday tasks, and may become increasingly dependent on other people. It is important to remember that every person with dementia is different and so their experiences will not be the same.
The earlier a person gets a diagnosis the sooner they and their families can come to terms with the situation, make plans for the future, and access services that can help them
Dementia can only be diagnosed by ruling out other possible causes of the symptoms so a full medical assessment is important. There are treatments for dementia available which may help slow down the progression of the symptoms, but they are not suitable for everyone.
There is a range of support available to help people with dementia and their carers.
A booklet called Caring for someone with dementia booklet Caring for someone with dementia 832kb has has been put together which contains a range of information for people who look after a relative or friend with dementia.
Health services that care for people with dementia include GP’s, old age psychiatrists, mental health nurses, community nurses, health visitors and physiotherapists.
Social services can arrange a community care assessment for people with dementia to assess the specific needs they have and discuss how these may be met.
The Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer's can provide a range of support to both people with dementia and their carers. Other patient support organisations include Age UK and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers.
The Pensions Service and Citizens Advice Bureau can advise people with dementia and their carers on employment legislation, social security benefits and housing rights.
Office of the Public Guardian (in England, Scotland and Wales), and the Office of Care and protection (in Northern Ireland) can advise people with dementia to appoint people to manage their property or investments.
Living with dementia and caring for someone with the condition can be difficult and emotional. Do speak to your doctor and local patient support organisations to find out what services are available to support you.
Wiltshire Council is working with partner organisations across Wiltshire to develop a Dementia Quality Mark.
With the ending of Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings and changes to registration conditions for any regulated provider, the Dementia Quality Mark pilot has been set up in partnership with councils across the South West to provide a recognisable single standard of dementia care within care homes.
The Dementia Quality Mark will provide homes with recognition that the delivery of good quality dementia care is a priority for them and that they are continually striding to improve the care they provide to people with dementia
- National Dementia Strategy
- Pensions service
- Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS
- NHS Wiltshire
- Safeguarding Adults
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Alzheimer's Society
- Alzheimer's Support
- Carer Support Wiltshire
Last updated: 8 November 2011