Dementia

Find support to manage dementia and memory loss, including information about living at home, caring for someone and legal matters.

Older woman doing crossword puzzle

What is dementia?

Dementia causes the brain to deteriorate more quickly than the usual ageing process. Even though it often affects older people, it's important to know that dementia is not a normal part of getting older, and can also affect younger people.

People with dementia experience the condition in different ways. One of the most common symptoms is memory loss. The NHS gives more information about the symptoms of dementia.

Having dementia can have a significant impact on a person and their family and friends. Whether you have dementia yourself, or you're caring for someone who does, it's important to look after yourself, find support and plan for the future.

Getting support in Suffolk

If you're unsure where to start with getting dementia support, you can chat to Dementia Together Suffolk on their free helpline.

They can help you, whether you're:

  • having worries about your memory
  • living with dementia
  • caring for someone with dementia
  • a health professional

They also have a practical help guide on their website to help you get started.

Dementia support groups

There are many organisations and services which support people with dementia, their families and family carers in Suffolk, including:

Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends logoYou can raise dementia awareness and understanding in your community by becoming a Dementia Friend

Dementia Friends can get involved with things like volunteering, campaigning or wearing a badge to raise awareness. Why don't you be a Dementia Friend for Suffolk?

Dementia action alliances in Suffolk are local groups who are working to create dementia-friendly communities, aiming to create a more inclusive environment for people with dementia.

Information and advice for people affected by dementia

Getting a diagnosis

If you're worried about your memory, the first step is to talk to your GP (doctor). They will check whether anything else could be causing your symptoms.

Dementia Together Suffolk has information on:

Living well

Keeping safe and living at home

Equipment, home adaptations and assistive technology can help people with dementia remain living independently and safely in their own homes for longer:

You can buy products from these websites:

Staying safe when out and about

It's good for people with dementia to remain active, keep doing hobbies and socialising with friends:

People with dementia can carry cards to help make other people aware of their condition:

  • Helpcards: for people with dementia to carry to get assistance when they're out in the community
  • Safe Journey Cards: First Buses have designed cards for people that may need extra help on their bus journey

Legal matters

The government gives more information about what a lasting power of attorney does:

Financial considerations

Care homes

Hospital care

Going into hospital can be disorientating for a person with dementia. It's good to have a family member or friend with someone with dementia to communicate with hospital staff:

If you look after someone with dementia, you are probably a carer:

Health and wellbeing

People with dementia can have changes in their behaviour. You can prepare by learning about what to expect:

Caring for someone with dementia can take an emotional toll. Make sure you look after yourself:

Carer's assessments

Suffolk County Council can assess your needs as a carer:

Breaks and respite

You can arrange for someone else to help with carer responsibilities:

Emergency carer support

You can plan for emergencies with a Family Carer Emergency Plan:

Worried that the person you care for is at risk of wandering off or getting lost?

Thinking ahead and completing a ‘Herbert Protocol’ form can help you find them should they disappear.

The form can be handed to the police to reduce the time taken in gathering this information and inform the investigation to locate them more quickly, safeguard them more effectively, and return them to safety before any harm can come to them.

If you are a family carer, relative or a care provider we recommend you complete the form and keep it home in case the person you care for disappears:

Read more about missing people and Herbert Protocol on suffolk.police.uk.