Claire Day is the Dementia Mental Health Nurse Specialist, available through the Memory Navigation Service.
'Ask Claire' Zoom sessions have finished for the year. You can look back on notes from previous sessions by clicking the links below:
If you would prefer to contact Claire via email, you can submit a question using the form below.
Here are some questions that other people have asked and agreed to have shared:
My memory has been concerning me. I used to remember all my appointments and I’ve missed a few. I also often can’t remember words and names. What should I do?
There are many reasons that someone might become more forgetful. The first thing you should do is visit your GP and explain the reasons you are concerned. Perhaps write a list of the specific things that have worried you to help you with your appointment.
My loved one was diagnosed two years ago, and we’ve been ok since then, but recently they have deteriorated, things are getting difficult.
It’s important to remember that people with dementia will all have different problems at different times, if you are finding it difficult to know who to go for the changes you have noticed the Memory Navigation Service will be able to signpost you.
If you have a social worker or community nurse visiting you, you should let them know what’s changed so they can identify any more support needed and help you plan for any more changes in the future.
If there has been a very sudden change it would be best to first discuss things with your GP as there may be another health problem making things more difficult.
My mother in law has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She has suffered with anxiety attacks since her husband died suddenly and the diagnosis plus having to get to grips with taking a new tablet has caused the anxiety to worsen. We don't know where to turn for help.
Thank you for getting in touch with us and I’m sorry to hear things are so difficult for you at the moment.
Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is a challenging time for all involved and can take time to learn to adjust to. There are lots of things that can help, some will take longer to arrange than others. I would suggest the very first port of call should be to your mother in laws GP, let them know what is happening and they may consider some short term medication to help settle the panic or refer her to the appropriate mental health support team.
If taking the medication is causing issues you could have a look at a reminder boxes which could be used, the tablets go in different sections for the time they need to be taken. You can by straightforward ones with days of the week on each section from most chemists, or the other end of the scale is one you can buy which makes a noise to remind her to take a tablet and will only open when the medication is due to be taken.
If the anxiety is usually worse at a certain time of day, then a carer could call to offer reassurance and support. They could also help with the medication if needed. This can either be arranged through the social services in your area who will need to complete an assessment or you can choose an agency yourself and make a more private arrangement.
There are lots of helpline numbers you and or your mother in law could use (if she’s willing and able) such as
- · The Samaritans; 116 123
- · MIND; 0300 123 3393
- · Alzheimers Society; 0300 222 1122
Carers in Bedfordshire can offer your ongoing support as a family carer and over time, help with challenges as they arise, you can register on line or call the office on 0300 111 1919 and someone can talk you through the registration if you prefer.
We offer a dedication dementia support service, The Memory Navigation Service which works with local agencies very closely and can help with all things dementia related.