General information

If you have been diagnosed with dementia, this Help Sheet may be useful. It talks about dementia and where you can go for further information.

What are the symptoms of dementia?

Dementia is a general term to describe problems with memory and thinking. The early symptoms include difficulties with:-

• Remembering, particularly recent events
• Making decisions
• Expressing your thoughts
• Understanding what others are saying
• Finding your way around
• Performing more complex tasks
• Managing finances

Are there different types of dementia?

Yes, there are various types of dementia. The effects of the different types of dementia are similar, but not identical, as each one tends to affect different parts of the brain. Some of the most common forms of dementia are:-

• Alzheimer's disease
• Vascular dementia
• Dementia with Lewy bodies
• Fronto Temporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD)
• Alcohol related dementia (which is also known as Korsakoff's Syndrome)

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia.

Dementia is a general term to describe problems with memory and thinking.

Who gets dementia?

Dementia can happen to anyone, but it is much more common over the age of 65, of people 85 years and over, 1 in 3 have dementia. In some cases it affects people in their 40s and 50s.

Are there any treatments for dementia?

At present there is no cure for dementia. However, medications and treatments have been found to relieve some of the symptoms for some people. Your doctor or specialist dementia nurse can advise you about these treatments.

What can I do?

You may have been wondering what is happening to you for some time now, and have probably been worried and anxious about the changes you've noticed. Certainly being diagnosed with dementia is upsetting, but for some people who have been worried about themselves for a while, the diagnosis can come as a relief. They know that they have an illness, and this can help them cope more easily. It also enables them to start planning ahead.

Tell the people close to you

When you are ready it is important to tell your family and friends that you have dementia, if they do not already know. It may be difficult because such a diagnosis is hard to come to terms with for everyone concerned. But it is better that people close to you are clear about it, so that they can have time to adjust to your condition, find out about dementia and how best to support you.

The Jersey Alzheimer's Association has produced a Help Sheet especially for family and friends, which provides information about dementia and ways to help. Phone us on 01534 723519 if you would like some copies for your family and friends.

It is important to know that:-

• You are still the same person
• The changes you are experiencing are because of a condition of the brain: dementia
• You will have good days and bad days
• Each person is affected differently and symptoms will vary
• You are not alone. There are people who understand what you are going through and can help
• There are ways to cope better, now and later on

You may feel angry, frustrated or upset about the changes in your life. Talking about these feelings with a trusted family member, friend, the Memory Clinic or asking for information, may help. Jersey Alzheimer's Association can help you.


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Did you know?

If we could delay the onset of Alzheimer's by 5 years we could halve the number of people who die with the disease.