How dementia is diagnosed

MarblesA close friend has been diagnosed as being in the very early stages of dementia. She has a very supportive husband and family who noticed the brief moments of confusion and slight forgetfulness and prompted her to go to her GP.

Would we all do the same? In that situation, would I just pretend to myself everything was fine? Would I avoid making an appointment because I’d feel embarrassed, especially if a hyper-efficient receptionist asks me what is regarding. “Erm, I’m sort of, er, forgetting things?”

But the NHS advice is yes, go to your GP. The doctor will are able to do some simple tests then and there. They say:

“If you are forgetful, it doesn’t mean you have dementia. Memory problems can also be caused by depression, stress, drug side effects, or other health problems. It can be just as important to rule out these other problems or find ways to treat them. Your GP will be able to run through some simple checks and either reassure you, give you a diagnosis, or refer you to a specialist for further tests.

An early diagnosis gives you both the best chance to prepare and plan for the future, and receive any treatment. With treatment and support from healthcare professionals, family and friends, many people are able to lead active, fulfilling lives.”