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Court of Protection & Mental Capacity

Memory trouble or the early signs of dementia?

June 21, 2017

We all have trouble remembering things from time to time, but if you have noticed that this is becoming more frequent for you or someone you know, or if it has started to have an impact on everyday life, then it may be time to look at what help is available, and to start planning for future needs – just in case. Here’s 5 early warning signs of dementia and what you should do to ease the worry.

1. Forgetfulness 

Have you been more forgetful in the last 12 months? For example, when using the telephone - have you found it difficult to remember numbers you used to know? Do you find it hard to remember where you have put things like glasses or car keys? Have you forgotten significant events that you would normally remember like anniversaries or birthdays?

2. Words or language problems 

Do you have difficulty in finding the right words? Do you really have to search for the words you want to use? Is this a daily occurrence?

3. Social isolation

Have you become more withdrawn? Are you less keen to take part in social activities and have you noticed changes in your mood? Do you sometimes feel confused or anxious, even in familiar places?

4. Concentration

Do you find it hard to concentrate on a task? For example, there might be a recipe you used to know off by heart but recently you have forgotten the sequence of the steps. You may have noticed you find it difficult to follow the plot of a film or a television programme.

5. Planning

When driving or visiting familiar places – have you found the route hard to remember? Do you find it more difficult to solve everyday problems such as how you are going to pay a household bill? Is it harder to make these decisions and have you started to rely on someone else to make decisions for you?

What should I do?

If you have noticed some of these symptoms there are steps you can take to ease the worry.

Talk to your doctor

Your doctor will listen to your concerns and will be able to carry out a health check and a simple memory test. Your doctor may refer you to a memory clinic where further tests can be carried out. Dementia-like symptoms can be caused by other health problems, such as vitamin deficiencies and thyroid problems. There may be an easy solution to the problems you are experiencing.

Talk to your solicitor

At Burroughs Day, our specialist solicitors can talk to you about making or updating your Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney. This will allow you to appoint a person you trust to help you with your property and financial affairs, and/or your health and welfare. It will mean that if you need help with managing your finances or your future care needs you can appoint someone you trust and feel reassured that your wishes will be followed. Although it can feel daunting, planning for your future is important – even as a ‘just in case’.

Our friendly and experienced team regularly help relatives and carers who may find that they have to step in and assist with finances because their relative has lost capacity to make decisions.

We can help you and your family every step of the way. If you require further information, please contact our expert team of local solicitors for free first advice on 01275 843 213 or by email.

Burroughs Day Solicitors is proud to support BRACE and Bristol Dementia Action Alliance to increase awareness and make Bristol a dementia friendly city. 

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Memory trouble or the early signs of dementia?

Helen Stock

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