"People don’t know what dementia is, and it’s a bit scary at first… slowly I found I was becoming more confident and positive, learning coping strategies and picking up things.” Bob, living with dementia in Leeds.
Living with dementia is better if you can keep up with things you enjoy doing, even if it means asking others for a little understanding. It can also help to try new things and meet others who know what it’s like. See the documents section for our ‘living with Dementia in Leeds’ leaflet, and info about memory cafes and groups.
Dementia and forgetfulness
Dementia is caused by diseases which physically affect the brain, such as Alzheimers Disease. The early signs might include memory problems, getting lost in familiar places, or difficulties with words and communication.
It is normal to e.g. forget why we went upstairs, or to come back from shopping without the very thing we went for. However, if confusion or memory are causing significant problems with daily life and relationships, it is possible that it might be dementia, or another medical condition. The best next step is to make an appointment to see your GP.
Family and friends
Caring for someone with dementia can feel lonely and isolating. Leeds has a carer advice line, dementia carer support workers and carers’ support groups. To find out more, see the external links section.
Advonet is a Leeds based organisation that can help a wide range of people with their advocacy needs. You can ask for an advocate by ringing them on 0113 244 0606.
They operate as a single point of access for all advocacy services including the LIHCA service (Leeds Independent Health Complaints Advocacy). LIHCA can help if you feel you have not had the service you expect from the NHS and want to complain using the NHS complaints process. Full details are on Advonet's website.