Memory Concerns

Causes:

People have problems with their memory for many different reasons. Sometimes underlying physical or emotional problems can manifest as memory loss. If you are concerned about your memory, please speak to your GP who may arrange some blood tests (looking for other causes) and consider referral to the memory clinic at West Berkshire Community Hospital. The memory clinic may prescribe medication to treat dementia if they feel this would be helpful.

https://www.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/our-services/older-peoples-healthcare/memory-service/

Exercise:

Exercise is shown to be a great help to both physical and emotional well-being. Gardening, dance and yoga are some of the activities that can be especially helpful.

Yoga for the Brain: a mix of seated yoga and gentle aerobic exercise for all abilities, incorporating some social time. Thatcham Rugby Club.

http://scip.westberks.gov.uk/kb5/westberkshire/asch/service.page?id=7ejcagcutV8

Tel: 0118 959 6482 (Kelly)

Group activities:

A lot of people find their self confidence suffers when they have problems with their memory. This is often a vicious cycle, with social isolation causing low mood and further forgetfulness. Local groups for people in a similar situation can help to increase your self confidence as well as employing methods to help improve your memory.

Singing for the Brain: friendly, stimulating sessions based on the principles of music therapy that include vocal warm ups and singing a variety of familiar and new songs.

http://www.fis.westberks.gov.uk/kb5/westberkshire/fsd/service.page?id=s0XJnz7K6KQ

Tel: 0118 959 6482 (Kelly)

Memory Café: monthly group run by professional artists organised by the Corn Exchange in various locations, with a variety of activities including crafts and music.

https://cornexchangenew.com/event/memory-cafe

Tel: 01635 582666

Fair Close Day Centre: friendly place for people aged 65+ to meet, run by Age Concern. Various activities, lunch and transportation available.

http://www.fairclosecentre.org/

Tel: 01635 40488

Shaw Day Centre: centre run by West Berks Council for older adults with a range of needs. Attendance is arranged after assessment by an occupational therapist or care manager. Various activities including card games, crafts, exercise, singing, and some outings.

http://www.westberks.gov.uk/media/pdf/j/k/Shaw_Day_Centre.pdf

Tel: 01635 551045

Other current groups can be found via the Alzheimer’s UK website

www.alzheimers.org.uk/dementiaconnect

Staying independent:

Driving:

A diagnosis of memory loss or dementia does not necessarily mean you need to give up your licence. You do need to inform the DVLA and your insurance company, and some people find it helpful to have an independent assessment driving lesson with a trained instructor.

DVLA     Tel: 0300 790 6806

https://www.gov.uk/report-driving-medical-condition

Wessex DriveAbility – Basingstoke

Tel: 023 8055 4100

Finances:

It is a good idea to get your finances in order when you first notice you have memory problems, or dementia. This may involve setting up a power of attorney, making a will, or looking into what benefits you are entitled to.

Lasting power of attorney allows you to choose one or more people to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity to do so. It can be set up for free online. If you have trouble accessing or using the internet, the Alzheimer’s Society will help you via their telephone support line. Some people choose to employ a solicitor to arrange a power of attorney.

www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney

Tel: 0300 222 1122

Citizen’s Advice Bureau will be able to advise you whether you qualify for income support. You may qualify for PIP if you are under 65, or attendance allowance if you are older. You may also qualify for exemption from council tax, if applicable.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Tel: 0300 222 5941

Safety at home:

Social services can see whether you are eligible for any extra help at home. This may be help with daily tasks such as cooking, or physical aids such as handrails in the bathroom.

http://info.westberks.gov.uk/socialcareassessment

Tel: 01635 503050

Physical aids such as pendant alarms for people who are at risk of falling can increase safety and confidence at home. There are lots of practical aids like this available, including bedroom/hall lights with sensors to reduce the risk of falls when people get up at night, talking clocks or calendars to reduce confusion about time or date, or medication in blister  packs to help people remember that they have taken their medication. In more advanced stages of dementia, devices that turn off the gas/cooker/tap if they have been left on may be helpful. The Alzheimer’s Society has information about how to access devices such as these.

www.alzheimers.org.uk

Tel: 0300 222 1122

Other resources:

Dementia UK

https://www.dementiauk.org/

0800 888 6678

Alzheimer’s Research UK

http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/

Tel: 0300 111 5555

Age UK

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/

Tel: 0800 678 1174