Understanding Dementia: Symptoms and Diagnosis

Dementia Action Week is an important initiative that aims to raise awareness about dementia and encourage people to act on it. In 2023, the focus is on increasing diagnosis rates. One of the most critical aspects of dealing with dementia is identifying the symptoms and getting a proper diagnosis. In this blog, we will explore the common symptoms of dementia and what you can do to get a diagnosis if you are concerned.

What is dementia?


Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of progressive neurological disorders that affect a person’s cognitive and functional abilities. Memory loss is often the first symptom of dementia, but it can also impact a person’s ability to communicate, reason, and perform daily tasks.

What are the symptoms of dementia?


The symptoms of dementia can vary depending on the type of dementia and the individual. However, some of the most common symptoms include:

Memory loss.


Memory loss is one of the most well-known symptoms of dementia, and it can manifest in a variety of ways. People with dementia may forget things they just learned, like the name of a new acquaintance or a recent event. They may also have trouble remembering important dates or appointments. Some people with dementia may ask the same questions repeatedly, or they may have trouble remembering how to do everyday tasks like cooking or using the telephone.

Difficulty communicating.


As dementia progresses, people may have trouble finding the right words or understanding spoken language. They may also struggle to follow a conversation or get their thoughts across to others. This can lead to frustration and isolation, as people with dementia may withdraw from social situations or avoid speaking altogether.

Changes in mood and behaviour.


Dementia can also cause changes in mood and behaviour. This can include depression, anxiety, irritability, or apathy. People with dementia may also become more easily agitated or aggressive, or they may exhibit socially inappropriate behaviours. These changes can be distressing for both the person with dementia and their caregivers.

Difficulty with daily tasks.


As dementia progresses, people may have trouble with activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, and managing finances. They may forget how to do these tasks, or they may struggle with the physical aspects of them. This can lead to safety concerns, as people with dementia may leave the stove on or forget to take their medication.



People with dementia may become confused about their location or the time of day. They may forget where they are or how they got there, or they may become disoriented in familiar surroundings. This can be especially dangerous if the person with dementia wanders away from home or becomes lost in a public place.

How to get a dementia diagnosis?


If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be experiencing symptoms of dementia, it’s important to seek medical advice. Here are some steps you can take to get a diagnosis:

  1. Talk to your GP: Your GP can refer you to a specialist for further testing and evaluation.
  2. Get a cognitive assessment: This may include memory tests, problem-solving exercises, and other assessments that evaluate your cognitive abilities.
  3. Consider brain imaging: CT scans or MRI scans can help detect changes in the brain that may indicate dementia.

What dementia support services are there?

Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK, and Age UK offer a range of dementia support services across the UK.

These services provide practical and emotional support, advice and information to people living with dementia and their families and carers.

Alzheimer’s Society

Website: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

Phone: 0333 150 3456

Email: enquiries@alzheimers.org.uk

Address: Alzheimer’s Society, 43-44 Crutched Friars, London EC3N 2AE

Dementia UK

Website: https://www.dementiauk.org/

Phone: 0800 888 6678

Email: info@dementiauk.org

Address: Dementia UK, 7th Floor, One Aldgate, London EC3N 1RE

Age UK

Website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/

Phone: 0800 678 1602

Email: contact@ageuk.org.uk

Address: Age UK, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9NA

Dementia is a progressive neurological disorder that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. However, with proper diagnosis and care, people with dementia can live fulfilling lives. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of dementia, seek medical advice as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support, and remember that early diagnosis is critical.

Dementia Action Week is an important reminder to take action and seek help if you are concerned about dementia. If you need more information or support, contact your local Boutique Care Home for advice on how to care for someone living with dementia.

Find your nearest Boutique Care Home – https://www.boutiquecarehomes.co.uk/our-care-homes