Find out more about dementia

850,000 people
with dementia in
the UK today

As people are living longer, the number of people being diagnosed with dementia is rising.

According to Alzheimer’s Society, there are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK today, and this is expected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.

Both figures include people living with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia.

If you’re concerned that you or someone you know could be developing dementia, there are signs you can look out for.

Early symptoms of dementia

Everyone has memory lapses from time to time, but if you find that you’re frequently forgetting things, have difficulty planning basic tasks such as following a recipe, find it harder to think things through or hold a conversation, and experience uncharacteristic mood swings, these could be the early signs of dementia.

However, these symptoms could be caused by other conditions too, such as depression, an infection or vitamin and thyroid deficiencies. They can also be the side-effects of certain medications. It’s important that you make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis of what is causing these problems.

When diagnosing possible dementia, doctors assess someone’s symptoms, do a physical examination, carry out tests to measure memory and other mental abilities, and possibly arrange for brain scans. This may involve visiting a hospital or specialist.

The benefits of being diagnosed early

Although it can be hugely upsetting to be diagnosed with dementia, the earlier the diagnosis, the better. It will give you time to adjust to living with dementia and the chance to plan for the future. Plus, it’ll mean you can access services, advice, and legal and financial support. And, most crucially, you can take steps that may will help you to live well with the condition.

Scientists are still working on a cure for Alzheimer’s and there are drugs available that can take the edge off some symptoms. It’s also been found that keeping active, daily memory and physical exercises can help boost memory and self-esteem. A game of Sudoku, a word search, a walk around the park or a few lengths in the swimming pool all help to keep the brain and body active.

Support for people with dementia and their carers

Alzheimer’s Society has a dedicated confidential support line to provide information and advice to anyone affected by dementia. You can call them on 0333 150 3456 and also access the live online chat advice service via Alzheimer’s Society’s website here.

For more on practical ways to manage symptoms to the latest Alzheimer’s research, visit the Alzheimer’s Society website.

Making a difference

With so many people in the UK impacted by dementia, including many of our colleagues’ family members and our own customers, we wanted to get involved and make a difference.

We’ve been working with Alzheimer’s Society since 2016 and more than £270,000 has been raised since our partnership began, by our employees and through our donations to help the work of community-based dementia support workers.

Organisations like Alzheimer’s Society help us create a better tomorrow for everyone.