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Concerned about memory problems?

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing significant memory loss, confusion or problems with language and decision-making, then it is important to seek an assessment from a doctor. 

Sensing these types of changes can be frightening – and wanting to avoid a possible diagnosis of dementia is a very normal response. However, a professional assessment is vital because there are many things which can cause memory problems.

What can cause memory problems?

There are many possible causes of memory problems:

  • Common health conditions including depression, thyroid problems, chest or urinary tract infection.
  • Emotional ordeals such as bereavement or trauma 
  • If you sometimes experience disorientation, this may be the result of sight or hearing problems, or the side effects from certain drugs.

Whatever the cause of memory problems, a diagnosis is important for getting you or the person you’re concerned about the support and treatment you need.

What if it is dementia?

For some people, receiving a diagnosis of dementia can come as a relief.  Being given an explanation for the symptoms that they may have been experiencing for some time allows them to begin a process of adjustment.  It can also be the catalyst for starting a conversation with relatives and accessing suitable treatment and support. 

Click below to listen to Dementia Adviser Tamsin Hudson and head of service Peter Johnson discuss why it’s important to seek a diagnosis early – regardless of whether you are diagnosed with dementia in the end:

Further information

NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/memory-loss-amnesia/

Alzheimer’s Society:  https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/how-dementia-progresses/concerned-about-someone-elses-memory-problems  

Dementia UK: https://www.dementiauk.org/understanding-dementia/getting-a-diagnosis/ 

NHS Oxford Health: https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/service_description/memory-services/ 

You can make a positive difference for people in your community living with dementia by supporting Dementia Oxfordshire.  Find out more.

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