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Tips & Learning

Here you can find some key information on a variety of Dementia related topics.

Early Warning Signs of Dementia

If you're becoming increasingly muddled or frogetful, it is a good idea to talk to your GP. Memory can be affected by many things, including; stress, ill health, tiredness or certain medications. Here are a few possible early warning signs of dementia:

  • Day-to-Day memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating, planning or organising
  • Language problems, for example, struggling to find the right word
  • Difficulty judging distances or spaces
  • Confusion about the day, time, place or people
  • Withdrawal fom work or social activities

Reducing the risk of dementia

Dementia is a global issue and is on the rise. Public Health England have produced information on midlife approaches to reduce your dementia risk

What is good for the heart is good for the brain

By doing the following you can reduce your risk of dementia or delay the onset:

  • Stop smoking
  • Be more physically active
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Improve your diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle

Keep your brain active and challenged

A recent review found that those with high levels of mental activity were 46% less likely to develop dementia than those with a low mental activity.

  • Do puzzles, take up a new hobby or pastime
  • Learn a new language
  • Enrol in evening class or course online

 

Health and Wellbeing

Loneliness has a major impact on physical and mental health

Being socially active can benefit you by:

  • Improving your mood
  • Relieving stress
  • Reducing the risk of depression
  • Helping you to gain new ideas and perspectives 

Why is getting a diagnosis so important?

  • You can plan for the future and then be in control of what plans you put in place
  • It explains what's been happening
  • You can be given treatments to reduce your symptoms
  • You can access support and advice which will benefit you
  • It will also help your friends and family to get practical advice and support for future changes and challenges.

Bedfordshire Dementia Handbook

The Bedfordshire Dementia Handbook is filled with advice from Carers in Bedfordshire and other expert organisations.

View the handbook online View the handbook as a PDF

Keeping UTIs at bay

A urinary tract infection (UTIs) contributes to many older adults attending hospital, but if you spot the signs early, most infections can be easily treated at home by your GP practice staff.

Look out for some or all of the following symptoms;

  • Pain or a burning sensation when passing urine
  • A need to pass urine more often than usual or with increased urgency
  • Pain or tenderness in the lower back or tummy
  • Blood in the urine
  • Generally feeling unwell

If you have nausea, vomiting or a high temperature (over 38°), you should ask for an urgent appointment with your GP.

Look out for:

  • Severe confusion, not recognising where they are or who people around them are
  • Agitation, becoming restless or having trouble sitting still
  • Rubbing their lower tummy or back
  • More frequent trips to the toilet

You can’t always prevent UTIs but there are some things which may help reduce the risk:

  • Wipe yourself front to back when you’ve been to the toilet
  • Try to drink the daily recommended amount of fluids (1.5-2 litres for an adult)
  • Don’t hold your pee in if you feel the urge to go and try to empty your bladder fully
  • Shower rather than bath, and don’t use perfumed soaps or gels
  • Wear loose cotton clothing, not tight synthetic (nylon) underwear

If you’re worried and can’t speak to your GP or just don’t know what to do next call the NHS111 advice line.

Nutrition

 Not eating enough can lead to weight loss, fatigue, a higher risk of infection and less muscle strength increasing the risk of falls.

  • Keep drinks nearby and where people can see them easily. If they are up and about a lot use a bottle or carton that they can carry with them. Make sure their cup or glass is not too heavy or difficult to hold or lift.
  • Offer a variety of drinks, hot and cold, soup, water, fruit juice, tea, smoothies. All fluids count
  • Encourage foods that can help increase fluids at snack and meal times, gravy, jelly and ice cream are all high in fluid