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Dementia is a problem in the brain that makes it hard for a person to remember, learn and communicate.

The symptoms of Dementia including: memory loss, confusion. mood changes and difficulty with day-to-day tasks. There are many causes of dementia, with Alzheimer's the most common.

These symptoms worsen over time, although the rate of progression differs with each person as does the symptoms

Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, however, memory loss by itself does not mean you have dementia.

To find out more about the condition visit the Alzheimer’s Society.

You will need to make an appointment for them to see their doctor, who may refer them to a memory clinic.

People with dementia and their families are sometimes reluctant to seek advice when concerned about memory or other problems. But there are many potential benefits to getting medical advice if you're worried. Being diagnosed early is important for many reasons. It helps you to get the right treatments and to find the best sources of support, as well as to plan ahead for the future.

The person who experiences memory loss or dementia may need care and support to continue to live in their own home, the doctor can refer them to Social Care or you can do this by calling Careline+ on 01267 224466 or by completing the secure online form. Social Care will contact them to have their needs assessed.

The support Social Care can provide will vary according to someone’s assessed needs. Support may include:

Personal Alarms & Monitors – sensors, alarms and gadgets that help keep people safe at home and enable them to do things they would otherwise be unable to do themselves. It may also help to support and reassure their carers.

Support at Home – help with day-to-day task such as washing dressing and meals.

Day Opportunities – People with dementia can benefit from a break from their daily routine just as other people do. There are opportunities for people living with dementia to have social contact and simulation. 

Residential and Nursing Care – Sometimes it is no longer possible to care safely for someone with dementia at home. Some homes provide specialist care for people with Dementia.

If you are looking after someone with Dementia you are a Carer. Find out more information about Carers and what help is available. It is important that carers look after their own health and wellbeing and may need a break from their caring responsibilities. This could be for a few hours or a couple of weeks, get more information on Short Breaks for Adults/Carers.

It is important to recognise that a person living with dementia remains a person and needs to be valued and supported. A range of neurological conditions associated with dementia can lead to gradual loss of memory, difficulties with language, concentration and understanding. However there is now clear evidence that people living with dementia can continue to lead enjoyable and purposeful lives with the right kind of support.

People living with Dementia can sometime express unusual or unexpected behaviours, there is often an underlying reason for this which can be explored, identified and addressed. This can help people living with dementia to be more relaxed and less anxious.

A dementia friendly community is one which is inclusive of people with dementia and understands how to help them. This means creating a community which engages with people who have dementia with confidence, understanding and patience. This approach has the potential to transform many lives.
Feeling valued and a part of the community is fundamental to the ability to live well with dementia. If people around them are understanding, patient and supportive, people with dementia will be able to live independently for longer, with an improved quality of life. They will feel positive, included, empowered and engaged in the daily life that we take for granted.
They will feel safe and confident to be able to carry on doing the things they enjoy and need to do, keep in touch with friends and family and also spend time with people who feel the same.

Some practical elements of a dementia friendly community are:

  • a good level of awareness so that people recognise and understand memory problems. 
  • clearly written information that can be easily understood by people with dementia. 
  • simple signposting so that people with dementia know where to go. 
  • support from others in similar situations, often known as peer support 
  • people who aren’t afraid to engage with people who show signs of dementia

Pontyberem a small Gwendraeth Valley village has been officially recognised as Carmarthenshire’s first Dementia Friendly and Supportive Community, helping people understand dementia and providing feedback on a range of topics to the county’s Dementia Action Board.

Useful links

One Stop Shop

Llandybie Hall
Woodfield Road
Carmarthenshire, SA18 3UR
9.30am – 1.30pm, 1st & 3rd Friday of every month

Alzheimer’s Society

For factsheets and information on dementia and details of services provided locally such as Dementia Cafes, Singing for the Brain, Training Programmes.
Tel: 01269 597411 | E-mail: carmarthenshire@alzheimers.org.uk 

CAVS (Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services)

Information on local voluntary groups who provide a range of support services.
Tel: 01267 245555 | E-mail: info@cavs.org.uk 

Crossroads Care Sir Gâr

Can offer practical support by providing regular breaks for carers.
Tel: 01267 220046 (Carmarthen) | Tel: 01554 754957 (Llanelli) | E-mail: sirgar@crossroads.org.uk

Page updated on: 24/07/2017

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