Dementia

Dementia is a common condition. Symptoms of dementia happen when the brain is damaged. It can lead to a gradual loss in being able to reason and remember things.

Symptoms of dementia

Your risk of developing a dementia increases as you get older. Being aware of general signs and symptoms of dementia is important. A timely diagnosis can help people with a dementia get the right treatment and support.

Memory loss is a symptom of a dementia.

Other symptoms include:

  • increasing difficulty with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning  
  • changes in mood or behaviour that’s out of character
  • periods of mental confusion
  • difficulty finding the right words

 

People affected by dementia

Dementia is most prevalent among older people but can affect younger people. You should speak to your GP if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above.

If you are forgetful, it doesn't mean you have a dementia.

Memory problems can also be caused by:

  • depression
  • stress
  • drug side effects
  • other health problems

It can be just as important to rule out these other problems or find ways to treat them.

Types of dementia 

Dementia is a collection of symptoms that result from damage to the brain. The symptoms can be caused by:

  • vascular dementia
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • dementia with Lewy bodies
  • frontotemporal dementia

To read more about these conditions, go to:

Worrying about dementia

If you are worried about your memory or think you may have signs of a dementia, it's important to talk to your doctor.

If you're worried about someone else, who you think may have signs of a dementia, encourage them to see their GP. You could also suggest that you go along with them.

Why it's important to get a diagnosis 

A timely diagnosis can help you:

  • get the right treatments
  • find the best sources of support
  • make decisions about the future

A timely diagnosis can also help people close to you to prepare and plan for the future. With treatment and support, many people are able to lead active, fulfilled lives.

Where to find help and support

You can find more information and support services from the following organisations, see also ‘more useful links section’:

The Public Health Agency has also produced a range of information to help support people with a dementia, their families and friends.

This information includes the following publications:

Cure for dementia

There is currently no cure for dementia.  A healthy lifestyle may help delay the onset of dementia. It can also help to prevent cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and heart attacks.

This includes:

  • eating a healthy diet
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • exercising regularly
  • don't drink too much alcohol
  • stopping smoking (if you smoke)
  • making sure to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level

How dementia is treated

If you are diagnosed with a dementia, your doctor will discuss the most appropriate help and medical support for you.

Many types of dementia are not curable. But there is treatment and support that can help slow the progression of the condition and improve people's quality of life.

Treatment and support can make a big difference to your day-to-day living, for example enabling you to stay independent longer and enjoy your regular activities with family and friends.

To read more about treating dementia, go to the NHS website

The information on this page has been adapted from original content from the NHS website.

For further information see terms and conditions.

This page was reviewed July 2018

This page is due for review July 2019

Health conditions A to Z

Search by health condition or symptoms

Or find conditions beginning with …

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.