Dementia Friendly Inverclyde

Most people will know someone who has dementia, either a member of their family, someone in their neighbourhood or wider networks. The number of people living with dementia in Inverclyde will increase over the next 20 years, due to our aging population, impact of our current lifestyles and improvements in identifying and diagnosing dementia.  Dementia mainly affects older people but it does affect younger people too.  It also affects their family and friends.

Whilst some people with dementia will spend time in hospital or live in a care home, the majority will live at home within their local community.  The more people can remain engaged with their local community the better their quality of life will be.  Communities that are dementia friendly have more opportunity to support people in the early stages of dementia maintaining their confidence and their ability to manage everyday life.  There are many things that can be done to support people with dementia to remain independent and participate as active members of our community.  The Inverclyde Dementia Strategy aims to ensure that our community embraces people with dementia, with services that provide appropriate care and support and enables people with dementia, their families and carers to live well with dementia.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a term for a range of illnesses that affect the brain and how it functions.   There are many different types of dementia and they all progressively damage the brain.  Symptoms vary from person to person and also depend on the type of dementia.  Generally the key symptom of dementia is serious memory loss, but others include losing track of time, getting lost in familiar places, changes in behaviour, and reduced ability to reason clearly and make decisions.  However with the right help people with dementia can be supported to have a good quality of life and experience a sense of wellbeing.

Some points to understand about dementia:

  • Each person living with dementia is unique and will experience the illness in their own way
  • There are different types of dementia which tend to affect people differently, especially in the early stages
  • A person with dementia will often have changes in their mood, for example there may become anxious and withdrawn, frustrated or irritable, easily upset or unusually sad
  • How others respond to the person and how supportive or enabling the person’s surrounding are also greatly affect how well someone can live with dementia

If you, or someone you know, is worried about their memory it will be helpful to discuss this with your GP.   There are a number of services that can help including:

  • Alzheimer Inverclyde Resource Centre
  • Carers Centre Inverclyde
  • Your Voice