Dementia is the name given to a collection of symptoms that occur when the brain becomes damaged through disease. The disease causes loss of brain cells and the brain subsequently reduces in size. This damage to the brain changes the way that the brain functions and how a person responds to and copes with daily living. There are many diseases with symptoms described as ‘dementia’, the most common is Alzheimer’s disease. Dementias are usually progressive which means that they get worse and cannot be cured.

Find out more about the causes of dementia from NHS Choices. For information specifically about Alzheimer's, visit the Alzheimer's Society website.

If you already have been diagnosed with dementia or memory loss, please find out how to get information and advice about care and support to ensure you get the help you need to live an independent and healthy life.

Here is a checklist of things that happen people with dementia can experience. If you (or someone you know) would answer ‘sometimes’ or ‘often to any of the following, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor. Please note that this checklist does not give you a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease but may suggest it would be a good idea to have a check up with your GP.

- Do you forget things more than usual?

- Do you repeat things over and over again

- Do you have difficulty remembering how to do familiar tasks or learning something new?

- Do you muddle up words or have trouble following someone else when they are talking?

- Are you finding it increasingly hard to understand books and other reading matter?

- Do you become disorientated quickly?

- Do you keep losing things?

- Do you find you sometimes make strange choices, like wearing only a t-shirt on a very cold day?

For more information on dementia visit DementiaWeb

Looking after a family member or friend can take its toll on you. It is important you get the right support. Find out more about support available if you are looking after someone.

See your local GP if you are worried that you may have dementia.

The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership will diagnose and support Bath & North East Somerset residents who are living with dementia, as well as their families and carers to cope with a diagnosis of dementia. 

If you have already been diagnosed with dementia or memory loss, find out how to get information and advice about care and support to help make life easier. Support available locally includes home care, befriending, peer support, carers’ support, singing for the brain and memory cafés. Find out what's on for people with dementia and their carers

DementiaWeb gives details of the support and services on offer for people with dementia and those involved in their care and support.

The Guideposts Trust is our key information provider about support for people with dementia.

The local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society also provides support for people with alzheimers and their carers. 

Local organisation the Peggy Dodd Centre also supports people with dementia and their carers.

Wellbeing Options supports people in Bath and North East Somerset to live full and independent lives. Here you will find information about local care providers, services and activities, along with links to other useful websites and resources.

If you are looking after someone with dementia, contact our partner BANES Carers' Centre today on 0800 0388885 for help and advice about how to make caring easier and how to get the support you need.