Dementia

Dementia involves a general deterioration of memory, communication and reasoning which leads to increasing difficulty in carrying out the activities of everyday life. There is also a high incidence of eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties associated with dementia. The need for access to specialist dementia care, including services such as Speech & Language Therapy, is recommended by charities such as the Alzheimer's Society and in the NICE guidelines for dementia. Early intervention is advised.

You may find that you:

  • have difficulty remembering the names of things; people, places and objects
  • struggle to understand what people say to you
  • cannot follow television or radio programmes
  • forget what people have told you
  • struggle to understand what you read in letters, newspapers, books
  • are slow to make a response
  • talk a lot but what you say is no longer that meaningful
  • lose track of what you are saying
  • repeat yourself without realising
  • become very frustrated
  • find it difficult to write
  • avoid social situations through embarrassment or fear
  • become insensitive to other people's communication or misread humour and sarcasm
  • have difficulties eating, chewing, drinking and swallowing. Food or drink may 'go down the wrong way' and you cough or choke
  • have frequent chest infections.

Our Speech & Language Therapy can help by:

  • Assessing your communication difficulties and in some cases, contributing to the early diagnosis of dementia.
  • Explaining the diagnosis to you and your family to reduce the levels of frustration.
  • Providing training for people you see on a regular basis about ways to communicate with you and how to make these interactions more effective.
  • Finding strategies which are acceptable to you to help your communication in everyday life.
  • Advising on memory prompts (diaries, calendars, audible prompts) and low-tech communication aids which may assist your current communication.
  • Monitoring changes over time and reviewing the strategies in use to ensure that your communication needs are being met in the best way.
  • Anticipating your future needs as your condition progresses.
  • Supporting you and your family when you need it with a flexible service which you can access quickly when changes occur.
  • Helping you to communicate those things which are most important to you whilst you are able to.
  • Assessing and managing any problems with eating, drinking or swallowing so that you are able to do these safely with a reduced risk of chest infections.

 




You can also find useful information from these sites

www.alzheimers.org.uk
www.ageuk.org.uk
www.ftdsg.org
www.dementiafriends.org.uk