Last updated: 29 September 2022
Next review: 29 September 2023
There is no certain way to prevent all types of dementia, however a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing dementia when you're older. This includes keeping active, eating healthily and exercising your mind. To find out more about how you can reduce your risk of developing dementia please visit risk factors and prevention.
Common early symptoms of dementia
Different types of dementia can affect people differently, and everyone will experience symptoms in their own way. However, there are some common early symptoms that may appear some time before a diagnosis of dementia. These include:
- memory loss
- difficulty concentrating
- finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
- struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- being confused about time and place
- mood changes.
These symptoms are often mild and may get worse only very gradually. It's often termed 'mild cognitive impairment' (MCI) as the symptoms are not severe enough to be diagnosed as dementia.
You might not notice these symptoms if you have them, and family and friends may not notice or take them seriously for some time. In some people, these symptoms will remain the same and not worsen. But some people with MCI will go on to develop dementia.
Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. This is why it's important to talk to a GP sooner rather than later if you're worried about memory problems or other symptoms.
There are a number of services that can support people living with dementia in Waltham Forest. Some of these are listed below, please visit Waltham Forest Dementia Roadmap for more information.
Health and Social Care Assessment
A social care assessment describes how a person living with dementia, and the person or people looking after them, gets help and support from their local authority's social services department.
Waltham Forest Dementia Hub
The Dementia Hub, based in Leyton, is a focal point for dementia support within the borough that provides a variety of activities and information from a number of different organisations. The Hub can also be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone on 020 8558 0647.
The Alzheimer’s Society
The Dementia Advisor service in Waltham Forest is available to people who have received a diagnosis of dementia or are in the process of receiving a diagnosis.
Local Dementia Adviser Staff in Waltham Forest provide support to understand key information around a diagnosis of dementia and what this may mean for the service user and family. Information can be requested which might be useful to carer, family members and friends.
When more intensive, group, or specialist support is needed, dementia advisers will refer or signpost to one-to-one dementia support, peer support and information and education services.
You can also contact the Dementia Advisor service on diagnosis, when there are changes in your condition, if you require support to navigate health and social care services, and on discharge from hospital.
Monday to Fridays:
Telephone: 020 8556 8171
Dementia Support Line on 0333 150 3456 (out of hours):
Monday to Wednesday 9 am to 8 pm
Thurs to Fri 9 am to 5 pm
Sat and Sun 10 am to 4 pm
The Alzheimer’s Society website has lots of information about supporting people living with dementia.
The Intensive Dementia Outreach Service
The Intensive Dementia Outreach Service supports people living with dementia and their carers to continue to remain within the community.
This service is for people with a dementia diagnosis and have eligible needs under the Care Act 2014. A social worker can refer you to the service. Please note that there may be a charge for using the services, subject to financial assessment.
There are two different services available:
- Group sessions based at the Leyton Dementia Hub or at a different unit in Chingford. During these session people will undertake a stimulating range of activities, including gardening, interactive Magic Table sessions, Oomph gentle exercise, quizzes, music and games.
- A home-visiting service where a member of staff will make regular visits to deliver support based around the person, focussing on their skills and strengths through activities such as arts and crafts or helping to make a musical play list.
The service also provides advice, guidance and signposting.
To find out more, please contact the Dementia Hub by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0208 558 0647.
The Waltham Forest Dementia Strategy 2021 – 2026 was approved by Cabinet on May 4 2021. It sets out the local priorities for working towards becoming a dementia-friendly community.
Dementia Friendly Communities
Dementia Friendly Communities are where people living with dementia feel included and involved, and to have choice and control over their day-to-day lives.
The work towards achieving this ambition is being led by the Waltham Forest Dementia Friendly Communities project. This is a group of people living with dementia, carers, services and local companies who are working together to develop the borough as a dementia friendly community. To find out more and get involved please email email@example.com or telephone 0208 558 0647.
Social media for people with dementia and their carers
Online forums are a great way to share your experiences as well as reading what others are going through. If there's a particular issue you are struggling with, the chances are that someone else has had the same experience.
Talking Point is the Alzheimer's Society's forum. It has people with dementia sharing their information and advice and supporting each other.
Dementia books on prescription
Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia offers support for people diagnosed with dementia and their relatives and carers. GPs and other health professionals can recommend titles from a list of 25 books on dementia. The books are available for anyone to borrow for free from their local library.
This service is also available to people living without a formal diagnosis, who may be worrying about symptoms of dementia.
Read more about the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia titles.
It can be very difficult for you and your loved ones to think about end of life. However, planning ahead, sometimes called advance care planning, is very important and can help you decide:
- how you'd like to be cared for in the final months of your life
- where you'd like to be cared for
- who you'd like to be with you
Making plans can help let people know your wishes and feelings while you're still able to. It can also help them if they ever have to make decisions about your care.
To find out more about planning for end of life please visit the NHS website.
Carers First supports unpaid carers, aged 18 and over, in Waltham Forest with online help and advice, as well as one to one practical and emotional support. To find out more you can telephone their helpline on 0300 303 1555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Carers First website has lots of information.