Dementia Awareness Week
15th to 21st May 2017

One in six people aged 80 or over have dementia, 70% of people living in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems. Help us raise awareness, check out our events!

See Our Events
Power of Attorney Service from £250 - Be Prepared For The Future

A powerful legal document that allows you to choose the people that you TRUST to make decisions about your Property, Finances, Health and Care, should you lose capacity through an accident, following an operation or an illness.  Capacity may be lost temporarily also, this may leave you vulnerable if you have not appointed Attorneys

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How To Get The Right Help?

Get help to set up care and technology in the home. We help bridge the gap for self funders that is often not available from statutory services

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A family meeting gives you the opportunity to share your concerns

Trying to navigate the care system and work whilst overseeing someones care is extremely challenging. We aim to bridge the gap if Social Services only offer you a copy of the care directory

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Help to claim Attendance Allowance

We can complete this form for you. You may be entitled to a reduction or exemption on your council tax bill when this benefit is awarded

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Put Your Affairs in Order

The last thing anyone wants to talk about after a diagnosis is money. However planning ahead now will give you the opportunity to make decisions and plan for the future.

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Carers Support Group

Meet others who are doing a similar caring role. Caring for a person with dementia is different to any other caring role

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What is dementia?

Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is damaged by diseases. These symptoms may often include:

  • Difficulty finding the right words
  • Forgetting events that have just happened
  • Repeating yourself
  • Mood changes
  • Forgetting familiar names and places
  • Difficulties with planning skills

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease followed by Vascular dementia. There are lots of different types of dementia. It is a progressive disease. Everyone experiences dementia differently so it can vary greatly from person to person depending on the cause of the dementia, their general health and individual circumstances. If you are concerned about your memory or of someone you know please contact your GP.

It is possible to live well with dementia.

The Bookcase Model

The brain has many complex methods of storing memories. The bookcase model demonstrates the way that memory changes over time for people with dementia.

Please click on the boxes below:

Healthy Brain

Dementia book case analogy healthy brain
Hippocampus
Factual/Skills including logic/reason
Amygdala
Emotions and feelings

This model describes the two fundamental types of memory represented by bookcases holding memories represented as individual books:

  • Factual including logic and reason – Stored by the Hippocampus System (Left)
  • Emotions and feelings – Stored by the Amygdala (Right)

These memories are usually attached to all experiences we have as we perceive the world by what we can understand.

The Hippocampus, the factual memory system, is the first to be damaged by dementia and the one that is damaged the most. It is represented by a tall thin bookcase, which is unstable if pushed by a force (Dementia). The memories themselves are represented by books sitting within the bookcase, with the most recent being at the top.

The Amaydala is represented by a solid, sturdy bookcase that will resist the force of dementia for much longer.  This usually means someone with dementia will retain their emotions attached to experiences much longer.

Early Stages

Hippocampus
Factual/Skills including logic/reason
Amygdala
Emotions and feelings

Over time dementia will cause the bookcase (Hippocampus) to wobble resulting in the loss of books which are representing memories and skills that a person has.

The books will fall from the top shelf first meaning that their most recent memories and skills will be forgotten. This can often include what the person has just done, what they have just said or where they have just been.  Also their ability to understand and reason will be affected by dementia.

Middle Stages

Hippocampus
Factual/Skills including logic/reason
Amygdala
Emotions and feelings

The Hippocampus will continually be damaged throughout the condition, losing more and more memories as it continues. This will result in more and more confusion over time.

The emotional memories held by the Amygdala usually remain intact for much longer which can cause a transition in how the person perceives the world. Instead of having their factual memory to make sense of their world they will be left with the emotions tied to experiences they have had. Therefore the person may not remember who someone is but they may remember how that person made them feel. Someone who made them happy in their life could create a feeling of comfort and security for them but they may not remember who they are. 

Late Stages

Hippocampus
Factual/Skills including logic/reason
Amygdala
Emotions and feelings

In the later stages of the disease the Hippocampus bookcase will have lost many shelves of books. This may leave the person with dementia believing they are much younger than they are and not recognising family members.

The Amygdala bookcase will also of been damaged at this stage which will reduce their emotional memory to a lesser extent.

This can mean it is hard for people to understand their actions as a healthy brain interprets situations with both types of memory systems, coming to a logical conclusion. Therefore it is important to remember to separate logic out of the equation when trying to understand a person with dementia.