A diagnosis of dementia invariably leads to a wide range of emotions and questions, and an updated guide by the Alzheimer’s Society will make useful reading for anyone wishing to understand more about the condition and find support services available. 

About 850,000 people in the UK have dementia and it’s possible to live well with the condition. However, it’s really important to get information and support after a diagnosis to boost reassurance and signpost help available from councils and a wide range of other organisations to make things easier.

The guide, now in its second edition and endorsed by ADASS, will also be useful for close friends and family of someone with dementia, as it contains information for anyone taking on a caring or supporting role.

It’s important for anyone diagnosed with dementia to know they are not alone. People with the condition are encouraged to talk about their feelings and concerns with family and friends. There are also specialist health and social care professionals, such as counsellors and dementia advisers, to talk to for support and what to expect.

The booklet is a comprehensive ‘go to’ guide, covering what dementia is, the types and causes of it, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments, and support organisations available. The guide includes information about how people can live as well as possible with dementia, and about making plans for the future.

There is no known cure for dementia. Treatment includes both drug and non-drug approaches, looking after other medical conditions and making changes to personal lifestyles. Music and creative arts therapies, and complementary therapies can also help, as can regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. With a combination of these, it is possible to live well with dementia for many years.

The guide gives advice on planning ahead with finances and how to make a home dementia friendly. There are lots of pieces of technology that can help, including electronic medication reminders, locator devices that can help trace  misplaced items, automatic lights and ‘shut-off’ devices in case the gas, oven or tap is left turned on.

Information in the guide also covers advice on work and driving, help and support for carers, and opportunities to take part in research.

The guide is available to read at https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementiaguide. For further information please phone Alzheimer’s Society’s National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122