Talking to your doctor

If you are worried that you or someone you know might have dementia it is essential that you arrange a visit to your GP.

There is no single specific test that can show whether someone has dementia. A diagnosis is made by talking to you and perhaps a relative or friend to find out more about your difficulties with memory and thinking. You will also need a physical and neurological examination, which will look at all other possible causes.

During the visit:-

• Take your list of concerns with you - it will provide a useful basis for further discussion and tests
• Talk to your doctor about your concerns honestly and openly, including how long you have been experiencing these problems
• Bring a list of the medications that you are taking including the doses (or bring all your tablets in a bag). Don't forget inhalers, creams, herbal medications and vitamins

Remember, you can:-

• Ask for a longer appointment
• Take a relative or friend with you
• Ask questions and request further explanations if you don't understand
• Take notes during the visit
• Discuss the option of further assessment by a specialist

The earlier you act the better

Your symptoms may not be caused by dementia, but if they are, earlier diagnosis will be helpful. An early diagnosis means that you can have access
to support, information and medication. People with a diagnosis of dementia should have an opportunity to participate in planning the rest of their lives and their finances as well as indicating their wishes regarding future care.

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Did you know?

Combined investment in dementia research is 7 times lower than spending on cancer research.