How is dementia diagnosed?
If you or a person you know is showing symptoms or signs that they may have dementia, then making an appointment with a GP is the first step
The GP will consider the symptoms the person is presenting as well as their medical history. Where appropriate the GP will refer the person to specialist memory nurses or a memory clinic.
Here, further memory, thought and reasoning tests are carried out - the results from which are used by the GP to decide whether or not the person is suspected of having dementia.
Also, brain scans can also be used to help diagnose dementia.
Why is diagnosing dementia important?
An early diagnosis is important to ensure a person’s future quality of life and also to plan ahead. Dementia is a progressive condition, meaning the symptoms will become more noticeable over time. It is important for the person, their family and friends that they are able to plan ahead and manage their care and quality of life moving forward.
Can dementia be cured?
No – whilst research is ongoing there is no cure for dementia. Depending upon the type and when a person is diagnosed, the progression of dementia can be slowed by medication and lifestyle choices such as exercise and keeping mentally stimulated.
How long do people with dementia live for?
Every person is different and depending upon when the person is diagnosed as well as the type of dementia they have , this will determine life expectancy. Some people can live many years with dementia whereas for others, the disease can progress quite quickly which is why putting plans in place is important.