You may have visited this section of the website because you are concerned about symptoms that you or someone you know well may be experiencing. The early signs of dementia which develops at a younger age may include difficulties with memory, but can also involve changes in other aspects of our everyday functioning, such as:

  • Communication (including understanding as well as expression)
  • Knowledge about the world (for example; what objects are or how they might be used)
  • Social judgement (for example; saying inappropriate things, having difficulty appreciating how others feel, becoming angry more quickly)
  • Flexibility in thinking skills (for example; being more distractible or less able to complete tasks, coping when things go wrong or problem solving)
  • Visuo-spatial skills (for example; problems recognising or manipulating objects which may result in problems with tasks such as dressing, appearing to be more clumsy or difficulty reading)
  • Memory problems (for example; problems with recalling recent events) which have worsened over time

It is important to recognise that developing dementia at a younger age is rare, and that many changes experienced could be due to a range of other difficulties including;

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Dietary changes
  • Ill Health

Seeking help:

If you are worried, then it is important to talk with your family doctor. It may be helpful for you to;

  • Write down your concerns or ask someone to help you with this before your appointment and take this with you to your GP.
  • Give examples of the effects that these changes are having on daily life and how long they have been occurring for.
  • Take someone with you to the appointment so that you feel supported

It is understandable that you, or the person you know may be afraid of the possible outcomes of an assessment, and it is important that any referrals are made with your consent. However, having an answer to your concerns is an important first step in coping with the challenges that are occurring. There are benefits to having a diagnosis which include having the opportunity to;

  • Understand the changes that are occurring and find ways of managing them
  • Adjust and adapt to the diagnosis
  • Make decisions about the future

If after discussion with your GP, it is decided that referral for an assessment is the most appropriate course of action; you can ask to be referred to the Early Intervention Dementia Service. This service is based at Kidderminster Hospital but covers the whole county and provides assessment, diagnosis and support following diagnosis in local clinics across Worcestershire. You can find out more about this service by clicking on this link . Depending upon the nature of your symptoms, or those of someone you know, it may be more appropriate for a referral to be made to;

  • The Community Mental Health Service for Older People who specialise in Dementia
  • Neurology Services.

If a referral is made to either of these services for assessment and diagnosis, it is still possible for you to access the services for younger people living with dementia and their families and supporters in Worcestershire following a diagnosis of dementia.