Many of us become more forgetful as we get older and you may be worried that it’s a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
There can be many reasons why you or someone close to you may be having memory problems, including: depression, vitamin B12 deficiency, delirium, stress, thyroid issues, infections, or vascular problems.
If you are concerned about your own memory, or you are worried about changes you have noticed with memory, communication, personality or the behaviour of someone close to you, it is important to contact the GP. If needed, www.docready.org can help you get ready to speak with your GP.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ website has more information about memory problems and the possible causes.
Dementia UK has further useful information on its website to help with understanding dementia and getting a diagnosis.
Community mental health services are for older people with mental health needs, which are complicated by age, and for people, of all ages, who have needs relating to dementia.
There are different community mental health services in Kent and Medway, depending on where you live. If appropriate, your GP will refer you to the most suitable community mental health service for you.
Medway and Swale
Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley
Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT)
If you or a member of your family has a dementia diagnosis, visit the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust’s Living with Dementia page to find out more about:
- Dementia engagement and empowerment groups – where people living with dementia come together to help make the world more dementia-friendly. There are five groups across the county, depending on where you live.
- Dementia envoys – local people living with dementia who are keen to increase public awareness of dementia.
- Dementia allies – local people living with dementia who want to support you with your diagnosis.
From keeping well, adapting your home and getting support, Age UK publishes advice online that can help guide you through if you are diagnosed with dementia. There’s also a postcode search on the Age UK website that allows you to find the details of your local Age UK branch.
Support for families with someone living with dementia is available through Crossroads Kent’s Dementia Outreach programme. Crossroads Kent is Kent’s leading charity for carers and the people they care for. Find out more on their website
Through the Alzheimer’s Society website you can:
- Search for dementia services local to you on their website
- Connect with other families living with dementia through Dementia Talking Point
- Find information that’s tailored to your needs via Dementia Connect
If you are over 55 years old or are an adult carer (aged 18 years or older and caring for an adult) and are looking for information and guidance, emotional and practical support, or help to access a range of community, health and social care options, community navigators can help you.
To find a community navigator in your area visit the dedicated pages on either Kent County Council website or Medway Council website, depending on where you live.
Next Steps helps you to find the right support, at the right time, while waiting for your memory assessment appointment.
At the Next Steps website you can find information about what to expect at your memory assessment and organisations who can help, including steps you can take right now.
Silverline: Free confidential helpline for older adults, 800 470 8090
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services, 24-hour dementia helpline, 0800 500 3014
Alzheimer’s Society, dementia connect support line, (opening hours vary), 0333 150 3456
Dementia Society: Speak to a dementia specialist on the free dementia helpline, 0800 888 6678
9am to 9pm Monday to Friday
9am to 5pm Saturday to Sunday