Over 900,000 people in the UK are estimated to be living with dementia, and someone develops the condition every three minutes.
Recognising that someone is living with dementia is really important and means the person and their carer can get the right support to help them live with the condition better.
What is dementia
Dementia is a clinical syndrome that presents as a group of related symptoms associated with an ongoing decline in brain function. It can affect memory, thinking, planning, use and understanding of language, personality, and mood. The symptoms are the result of damage to the brain caused by different diseases. They will vary depending on which part of the brain is damaged.
Dementia has many different causes and types. It is an umbrella term for all types, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Different types of dementia can affect people differently and everyone will experience symptoms in their own way.
It is important to remember that dementia is not a natural part of growing older.
When should I seek help?
If you are becoming more and more forgetful, it is a good idea to talk to a GP about the early signs of dementia, particularly if you are over 65.
Stress, tiredness, certain illnesses, and medicines can affect your memory; that is normal. However, you should get help from a GP if memory loss is affecting your daily life.
Dementia is not just about memory loss. It can also affect the way you speak, think, feel, and behave.
Dementia services in Cornwall
There are a growing number of services and support across Cornwall, detailed below:
- The Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides a range of specialist dementia services, including the Memory Service. This provides expert assessment if you are worried about your memory or think you may have dementia.
- The Cornwall Memory Café Network supports those with dementia and memory loss, as well as their families and carers. The cafes were opened to enhance the wellbeing and quality of life of those who have memory loss, whether diagnosed or not. Find your nearest memory café.
- Memory Matters | Empowering people to live well with dementia offers cognitive stimulation therapy sessions to groups of people living with dementia in Cornwall.
- The Sensory Trust – Inclusive Nature Experiences offers outdoor and nature-based group activities, including specialist groups for people living with dementia.
- The Cornwall Dementia Partnership works to raise awareness about dementia and is made up of carers, volunteers, voluntary sector organisations and statutory services. It aims to make Cornwall a welcoming, supportive, and understanding place for people with dementia to live and visit. It also promotes the development of dementia friendly communities.
- The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Dementia Roadmap provides healthcare professionals with a bank of information to help support people with dementia, as well as their families and carers.
- Cornwall Carers Service offers advice and support to unpaid carers across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. They can help provide a carers passport, as well as access to wider groups.
- The Community Gateway provides access to a wide range of professional voluntary sector support. Its dedicated phone line is available for everyone.
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