Welcome to the Support & Information section of The Alzheimer’s Show website.

Whether you’re a carer or a person with dementia, or you know someone affected by the illness, this section of the site will give you information and facts on dementia, including what dementia is, how to cope with the illness and how to obtain or provide suitable care for those affected. It will also explain how to plan ahead to ensure that your relatives or loved ones receive the help and support they need both now and in the future, and what to do next if you have just been diagnosed.

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INTERVIEW   ‘If we don’t do something, there won’t be a cure for dementia’

Peter Berry from Suffolk is 52-years-old and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago. Now he is helping with research by participating in a drugs trial…  How did you get diagnosed? We went to the GP who said I was depressed. But I knew I wasn’t. Then I think it was various cognitive tests and I scored very low on the tests but my wife kept pushing and they still said it wasn’t anything else and just depression…   Read the article

INTERVIEW   ‘I try to think of ways around barriers’

A year ago, Christina Macdonald spoke to former head teacher Keith Oliver about his experience of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, aged just 54. While his life had changed dramatically since his diagnosis in 2010, Keith remained optimistic, living as independently as possible. Here, we catch up with him again, and discover that as well as still harnessing his inherent positivity to overcome the challenges he faces… Read the article

INTERVIEW   ‘Alzheimer’s disease explained’

The word ‘dementia’ is a generic term describing problems with memory and thinking, it is not a specific diagnosis. Dr Emer MacSweeney, CEO and Medical Director of Re:Cognition Health, explains why it’s so important to get a proper medical diagnosis. She also talks about groundbreaking clinical trials designed to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, rather than just treating symptoms… Read the article

INTERVIEW   ‘Carers should work with the person’s personality’

Hilda Hayo is a Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO of the charity, Dementia UK which exists to provide advice to help families cope with dementia. Hilda talks to Christina Macdonald about how the charity can help and how to get support when the person with dementia has been diagnosed, plus why a befriending service is a good idea. Read the article

KeithOlivercrop4INTERVIEW   ‘I am still a positive person’

Former headteacher Keith Oliver was only 54 when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010. Six years later, Keith has still managed to maintain a positive attitude and is keen to share his experiences to help enlighten others and will be speaking at The Alzheimer’s Show in June. He talks to Christina Macdonald about what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s… Read the article

PREVENTING DEMENTIA

Reducing your risk of developing dementia

According to the Office for National Statistics, dementia is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales and mortality rates for dementia have doubled in five years. But while there are no guarantees, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of developing dementia

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Is dementia genetic?

If your parents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, does that increase your risk of developing the disease at some point in the future?

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Exercise reduces dementia risk and makes you feel good

Reduce your dementia risk and improve your ability to de-stress by doing some regular exercise. Christina Macdonald explains why it’s good for you and how it can help you be a better carer.

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What is dementia?

Dementia describes symptoms such as memory loss, difficulties with language, thinking and solving problems, which impact on daily living. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain and is not a natural part of ageing, but the risk of having it increases with age.

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IF YOU HAVE DEMENTIA

What should you do when you’ve been diagnosed with dementia?

Even if you have suspected for a while that you may have dementia, it may still be a shock to have the diagnosis confirmed. Allow yourself some time to come to terms with the diagnosis, but don’t delay for too long before starting to plan for the future.

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Seeking the right treatment for dementia

You have been told by your GP that you have dementia. What happens next? What treatments can help with the disease?

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Setting Up a Power of Attorney

If you have been diagnosed with dementia, don’t leave it too long to set up Power of Attorney while you still have capacity. An LPA is a legal instrument that allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you lack the capacity to make them yourself in the future.

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Making an advance decision

An advance decision is a legally binding document that outlines what type of treatment and end-of-life-care you would like to receive in the future when you are no longer to express or communicate what treatment or care you would like.

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Is home care a good option?

Many elderly people needing care would prefer to stay in their own home for as long as possible. How practical is this and is care at home a good solution?

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Can I still drive with dementia?

Being diagnosed with dementia doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to stop driving straight away, although you will need to stop eventually. According to Alzheimer’s Society, most people with dementia tend to stop driving within 3 years of diagnosis.

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Protect your assets

If you have dementia, it’s important to get your paperwork in order swiftly but it’s also essential to take careful steps to protect yourself from the risk of fraud.

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Worried you might have Alzheimer’s disease?

We all forget things from time to time, this isn’t necessarily a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. But if you are worried about your memory it’s important to see your GP to put your mind at rest or get a clear diagnosis.  Read the full article

Living well with dementia

Experts may talk about living well with dementia and it’s something to strive for, but is it realistic?

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IF YOU ARE A CARER

Sleep and dementia

You may find that a person with dementia is prone to waking at night and has regular bouts of interrupted sleep. There are some things you can do to help resolve the situation.

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Dementia in young people

Dementia can strike younger people as well as the elderly. Mum of two Carla Bramall developed symptoms at the age of 30 and was diagnosed at the age of 36. She is now 39 and living in a nursing home.

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Art therapy and dementia

Art therapy is becoming an increasingly popular service for those with dementia. April Dobson, head of dementia innovation at Abbeyfield, reveals just how big a difference it can make.

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Unexpected symptoms of dementia

We often think of dementia as mostly about memory, but it also affects mood, behaviour, thinking and perception.

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Can you be a happy carer?

Many carers put their own lives on hold to look after a loved one. Is there a way to achieve a perfect life balance and still be a good carer?

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Dementia and children

It can be difficult knowing how to explain to a child that a grandparent or elderly relative has dementia. However, you may be surprised at how understanding children can be. Here are some suggestions at how to sensitively explore dementia with children…

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Dealing with carer’s guilt

As a family carer, it’s not uncommon to feel guilty when you take a break from caring to pursue your own interests or simply relax. The article explains how to cope with feelings of guilt.

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How to seek financial help when caring for someone

The care system in the UK can seem complicated, especially as there are regional variations.  What support might be available to you and how to apply for it.

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Eight top tips for family carers

If you are looking after a loved one with dementia, it can be hugely challenging but there are things you can do to make life better for the person and for yourself. Read the full article

Protecting a person with dementia from fraud

You may think that fraud or exploitation of a person with dementia would never happen to a member of your family. The surprising truth is that it’s more common than you may think.

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Coping with personal hygiene

How can you cope when a person with dementia refuses to wash or change their clothes? It’s not an easy subject, but there are things you can do without the issue becoming an unpleasant confrontation. Read the full article

What a diagnosis means for your loved one

Whether it’s your parent, partner or friend who has been diagnosed, it’s useful to understand how their moods may change. It’s also important to put steps in place now to help them and you, plan for the future. Read the full article

‘Things I wish I’d known about dementia’

It’s not always easy to know how to care for a person with dementia. Christina Macdonald has learned a lot from personal experience… When my mother was first diagnosed in 2009, I knew very little about dementia. As the saying goes, if I knew then what I know now… Read the full article

Why it’s important to talk about end-of-life care

Contemplating the final days of life can be a depressing if not taboo subject for some. Yet it’s an important issue and one worth facing sooner rather than later according to SweetTree Home Care Services, experts in palliative care

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Keeping someone safe at home

Are you worried about someone who is living at home alone? Using technology to monitor their movements and remind them of the need to eat or take medication may be a good solution.

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Making technology easier for a person with dementia

If a person has dementia, using daily devices that many of us take for granted like mobile phones, TV remote controls and microwaves can become a challenge. For a person with dementia, these devices can eventually become impossible to use as it’s easy for them to get items of a similar shape or size mixed up.

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Don’t feel guilty about suggesting a care home

It’s easy to feel guilty about suggesting that a person with dementia goes into a care home, but remember you are only trying to do your best for them and keep them safe.

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Telling someone you are concerned they may have dementia

You’ve noticed that a friend or loved one is having some problems and you are worried they might have dementia. How do you voice your concerns and encourage them to seek help?

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6 ways to have a better relationship with a person with dementia

When a person has dementia, sudden and unexpected mood swings can occur from time to time. However, there are things you can do to improve the relationship between you and the person with dementia and prevent situations from escalating.

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Ten things a person with dementia would like you to know…

Dementia doesn’t just affect memory or a person’s ability to recall recent events or conversations. It can also affect their moods, sense of humour and outlook on life. But regular conversations and social contact can still make a difference.

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Coping with the emotional challenges of dementia

We often talk about the practical challenges of caring for a person with dementia, but what about the emotional hardships we face as carers? This article explains why it’s important to deal with the emotional as well as practical issues

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Are you the right person to care for a relative with dementia?

If you’ve got strong emotional ties and maybe even a turbulent history with a relative who has dementia, are you the right person to care for them? Can you switch off your emotions in order to provide the best possible care?

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6 key things you should consider before choosing a home care agency

Barry Sweetbaum, Founder of London-based home care agency SweetTree Home Care Services, has these top tips for choosing a good home care agency for a relative or loved one with dementia.

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‘Take time out and seek help’

Expert advice on how to cope when caring for a person with dementia, and why it’s so important for carers to take time out, courtesy of Admiral Nurse Rikki Lorenti

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Dementia and sight problems

Have you noticed that a person with dementia is struggling to recognise things, or seeing things differently?

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Having a conversation with a person with dementia

Conversations won’t be so easy when a person has dementia, but there are things you can do that will make them easier.

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