Event date: 26/04/2017
News date: 21 Apr
Whatever you want to do, concerns you have or support you need, there are a wealth of organisations and charities that can help. Have a look at what's available here.
Items such as raised toilet seats, bath boards and seats, walking frames, and grab rails can make a real difference to your safety and independence.
Although there is no known cure for dementia, there are some treatments which can either help to slow down the effects of the disease or help to cope with the symptoms.
There are a number of different types of medication used in the treatment of dementia, particularly of the Alzheimers type. These drugs are used to change the chemical balances in the brain. They can't undo the effects of dementia, but they can help with symptoms and sometimes slow down the progression of the disease. Most of the drugs used to treat dementia work by blocking certain chemicals in the brain from having their usual effect.
Some drugs (like Donepezil, Galantamine, and Rivastigmine) block the activity of a chemical called acetylcholinesterase. They are used to treat mild to moderate dementia.
Memantine hydrochloride is another drug that is often used in more severe cases of dementia, or for cases that don't respond to other medication. This drug blocks the action of a number of different chemicals in the brain.
Medication to treat high blood pressure may also slow down the symptoms of vascular dementia.
In some cases where people with dementia show disruptive or aggressive behaviour, medication from a group of drugs called antipsychotics may be used to help keep them calm.
However antipsychotics can have some side-effects, including shaking / tremors and effects on a person's mobility. This is particularly a problem if the person taking the medication has dementia with Lewy bodies.
It is also important to remember that antipsychotic medication can cause people to be drowsy, and can affect their concentration and ability to interact with the world around them. Such medication should not be used as a quick way of 'keeping someone quiet', and should only ever be used if other approaches to help someone stay calm have not been successful, and if the person or those around them will be in danger as a result of their behaviour.
Many people with dementia will also have symptoms of depression. In such cases a doctor may prescribe anti-depressants to help lift a person's mood.
The NHS Choices website provides information on all of the most common medicines and their side-effects.
Patient.co.uk have a directory of the most common medicines and drugs, with information on their benefits and side-effects.
The Mind website provides information on the kinds of medication which you might be offered to treat dementia or other mental health problems.
Psychological therapies are therapies that involve mental activities and talking. They are designed to help people cope with the symptoms of dementia rather than changing the course of the illness itself.
Behavioural therapy identifies triggers that cause certain behaviours and tries to tackle the triggers so that the behaviour will change.
For example if someone with dementia leaves the house and wanders around because they feel bored or restless, their carer might try to prevent this behaviour by giving them something stimulating to do to keep them occupied and relaxed. This can include anything from watching television or listening to their favourite music, to attending a day centre or getting plenty of exercise.
Cognitive stimulation involves doing different mental tasks to try to help with mental function. This could be puzzles or games involving memory, problem-solving or language, which can be done in groups. Sometimes this is combined with facts about the present environment to incorporate a therapy called reality orientation.....
Reality orientation aims to bring people with dementia back in to the present when they are confused. This can be done by reminding them of facts about themselves and the environment around them.
Although reality orientation is used a lot in some cases it may sometimes be better not to try to 'correct' a person with dementia. For instance if a person with dementia asks to see their late husband or wife, it might be more distressing to tell them the truth. This is known as validation therapy.
The NHS Choices website provides information on the different options for treating dementia, whether with medication or psychological therapies.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidance on recommended treatment options for all forms of dementia.
If you are concerned that you or someone you know are developing memory problems, or are feeling more confused, then go to our Worried about your memory? page for advice on what to do.
And our Support for people with dementia page offers advice on the support available to enable someone with dementia to continue to live safely in their own home.
If you look after a relative or friend with dementia then you can go to our section on Looking after someone for more information on the help available to you. In particular you may find useful to look at the pages which summarise all of the main support for carers available in your local area.
And remember that you can request a carer's assessment from your local council.
The Admiral Nurses provide information, practical advice and emotional support for people who care for a relative or friend who has dementia:
The Alzheimer's Society is a national organisation which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: Tel: 020 7423 3500Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Alzheimer's Society's National Dementia Helpline can offer advice or answer questions you have about dementia, and is usually open 7 days per week - tel 0300 222 1122.
Dementia UK is a national charity committed to improving the life of all people affected by dementia:-Tel: 0845 257 9406Email: email@example.com
The Alzheimers Research UK website offers advice on treatment options for someone with dementia.
The Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people's perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way people think, talk and act about the condition.Whether you attend a face-to-face session or watch the online video, Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways you can help. From telling friends about the Dementia Friends programme to visiting someone you know living with dementia, every action counts.
Age UK has useful information and ideas about dementia. They also run some local services and arrange activities during the day to help people stay active and part of the community.
The Independent Age website provides leaflets on Memory Loss, Depression, 'Confusion' and Dementia (guide 9) and Living with dementia (guide 9a).
The Which website offers advice on all aspects of living with memory loss or dementia.
The NHS Choices website provides information on dementia, and on how it can be treated.
The BBC have published an article which looks at the growing problem of dementia for an aging population across the globe, and at how technology might support people with dementia to live independently and safely within their own homes.
Active Minds sell a wide range of products for people with memory problems or dementia and their carers, which are designed to help stimulate people's minds and keep them occupied.
The Easy Health website has gathered together various easy-read leaflets which will help people with learning disabilities to understand more about dementia.
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has produced a film which reminds us that although dementia causes the loss of some abilities, people's feelings remain intact. The people in this film talk about their emotions, and give a deeply moving and personal insight into an often overlooked aspect of the condition.
The My Ageing Parent website has put together ten top tips for looking after a relative with dementia.