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This week is Dementia Action Week (16-22 May), and this years’ theme is diagnosis.

The symptoms of dementia are progressive and on an unknown time scale. It could be months or many years before the symptoms become advanced. It can be difficult to make the decision to get a diagnosis, but this can be a really positive step to better understanding your condition and to get help and support.

Whilst a diagnosis of dementia can often be very difficult to accept, many people with dementia can live full lives with little or no assistance. Living in the present, doing the fun things now which were planned for later in life, is a strategy which helps some people cope with this condition.

Symptoms of Dementia Include:

  • Memory Loss - problems with short term memory is often the first sign of dementia.

  • Communication Problems - linked to memory loss, communication problems often arise when a person is unable to recall a particular word or phrase in conversation.

  • Changes In Mood - dementia symptoms can have a profound effect on a person's life; this can give rise to mixed emotions (sadness, anxiety, anger).

Some of the symptoms can also be related to other conditions, so this is another important reason to seek support early on.

If you're worried about your memory, or think you may have dementia, it's a good idea to see a GP. If you're worried about someone else's memory problems, encourage them to make an appointment with a GP and perhaps suggest that you go with them.

Many people with a diagnosis of dementia continue to live at home. By making some changes to your home, you can continue to enjoy it, and keep up routines and activities that are familiar to you. These changes can help you to stay safe, physically active, mentally stimulated and in touch with friends and family.

Others may well need additional support and care and at SJMT, we are passionate about providing care that promotes independence and dignity as well as opportunities to thrive. We recently made some improvements to our care home Alexandra House to help us achieve this, adding resources that promote mental stimulation for residents. Activity boards are now located in all the corridors and include a large xylophone and hanging portrait bubble water walls with colour changing LEDs. We have also introduced street signs in all corridors as well as 2 bus stops for residents to sit and take a break. And the pièce de résistance is our new cinema room. Please look at some of the pictures below.

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