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A quick guide to dementia services,
help and support in Camden

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Worried about dementia?

People worry about their memory for many different reasons. Perhaps someone close to you has been diagnosed, or maybe you have symptoms you think might be dementia.

 

There are over 100 types of dementia and everyone experiences dementia in their own way. However, some common early symptoms may appear some time before a diagnosis of dementia. If you have any of the symptoms listed here, please see your GP.

  • memory loss

  • difficulty concentrating

  • finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks

  • difficulty finding the right word or person’s name

  • being confused about time and place

  • mood changes

How to get a dementia diagnosis

If you are worried about your own or someone else's memory problems, encourage them to make an appointment with a GP and perhaps suggest that you go with them. Getting a diagnosis gives you and your family the best chance to prepare for the future.

What to expect when you see a GP about dementia

A GP will ask about your symptoms and other aspects of your health. They will also ask if you are finding it difficult to manage everyday activities such as:

  • washing and dressing (personal care)

  • cooking and shopping

  • paying bills

If possible, someone who knows you well should be with you at your GP appointment so they can describe any changes or problems they have noticed. They could also help you remember what was said at the appointment if this is difficult for you.

Memory problems do not necessarily mean you have dementia. These problems can have other causes, such as:

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Confusion caused by a medical condition, such as an infection

  • Side effects of some medicines

  • To help rule out other causes of memory problems, the GP will do a physical examination and may organise tests, such as a blood test and urine test. You will also be asked to do a memory or cognitive test to check any problems with your memory or ability to think clearly.

Referral to a dementia specialist

If the GP has been able to rule out other causes for your symptoms, they will refer you to Camden Memory Service who will assess you in your own home or in the clinic, ideally with a family member or friend present.

You will be asked questions about changes you may have noticed, your physical health and medication. You will also be asked questions, which test the functions of your brain. The assessment usually takes one hour.

After the assessment, you may be referred to a local hospital for a brain scan. This will usually take
6-8 weeks to arrange and will be followed up by Camden Memory Service.

If needed, Camden Memory Service may arrange for you to see a psychologist or occupational therapist for a more in depth assessment.

If the diagnosis is
dementia

You will be given information and advice on:

  • The type of dementia you have

  • The symptoms and how the condition might develop

  • The treatments you might be offered

  • Agreeing an initial care plan

If the diagnosis is not clear, the Memory Service will talk to you about further tests.

Follow-up support

You will be allocated to a specialist from the Memory Service who will visit you at home within 6 weeks of your diagnosis to give further support and advice. They will continue to see you at least twice a year and remain your local point of contact for all help and advice. You may also be referred to Camden Council's Adult Social Care Team who will co-ordinate the different types of support you may need.

What local support is available for you, your family and carers

Adult Social Care

Adult social care can connect you with local support services.
Call Adult social care: 020 7974 4000 (Option 1)

Carers Assessment

A carer must get their own needs assessment if they ask for one. Camden Carers or Camden Adult Social Care can do this for you.
Call Camden Carers on 020 7428 8950

Counselling and Group Therapy

It can be helpful to talk with a trained professional about your caring role. Camden Carers offer counselling to carers registered with it. 

Call Camden Carers on 020 7428 8950

Advice and Rights

If you need information and advice about your employment situation, benefits or housing, Camden Carers can refer you to the Camden Advice Network for specialist advice. 

Call Camden Carers on 020 7428 8950

Support Workers and Dementia Advisors

Trained advisers from different organisations can help give practical, clinical and emotional support. Call Alzheimer’s Society to speak to a trained dementia adviser on 0333 150 3456

Support in the community
Many local community centres and other organisations offer dementia-friendly services and support. These might be day centres, visits to local attractions or dementia cafes.

Call Camden Carers on 020 7428 8950

Dementia Wellbeing and Befriending Service

AgeUK Camden supports people to live independently and safely at home for as long as possible, stay socially engaged and carry on doing what they love. For Camden residents over the age of 55 in the early or moderate stages of dementia.

Respite Care and Breaks

Respite care is when someone else cares for the person with dementia. This can give you a short break. Contact Camden Carers or Camden Adult Social Care for more information.

Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Trans people

Opening Doors Rainbow Memory Café offers information, support and activities in a safe environment for LGBT people living with dementia and their carers.

Useful contacts

Adult Social Care

Adult care and support in Camden

Tel: 020 7974 4000 (Option 1)

Web: https://www.camden.gov.uk/adult-social-care

Camden Carers

Information, advice and support to unpaid adult carers (18+) caring for someone who lives in Camden.

Tel: 020 7428 8950

Web: www.camdencs.org.uk

AgeUK Camden 

Tel: 020 7239 0400
Web: https://www.ageuk.org.uk 

Adult Social Care

Assessment, treatment and on-going support to people with dementia and their families/friends.

Tel: 020 3317 6584

Web: https://www.candi.nhs.uk/services/camden- memory-service

This page was developed and written by Camden Carers, supported by Camden Council, Healthwatch Camden and Innovations in Dementia, to help make Camden a dementia-friendly place to live and work.

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