Dealing with Dementia

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We delve into what life is like with dementia, and what diagnosis with a memory impairment can mean for individuals and their families.

Dementia – what is it and what does it mean for me?

It’s normal for your memory to be affected by stress, tiredness, certain illnesses and medicines. But if you’re becoming increasingly forgetful, particularly if you’re over the age of 65, it’s a good idea to talk to a GP about the early signs of dementia.

Memory loss can be annoying if it happens occasionally, but if it’s affecting your daily life, or it’s worrying you, or someone you know, you should get help from a GP.

Dementia is not only about memory loss. It can also affect the way you speak, think, feel and behave.

It’s also important to remember that dementia is not a natural part of ageing.

Alzheimer’s Scotland do amazing work supporting those affected by the disease, their families, and the communities we live in to help make our environments and services more dementia-friendly. Our local dementia advisor for the North Highlands is Hayley Lyons, and you can find her email address and number underneath the video above. Find out how Hayley can help you:

Hayley Lyons covers the North Highland area including Ross & Cromarty, Sutherland and Caithness.

Your local Dementia Advisor can:


Sources of help and support

Social services support for dementia

The adult social services department of your local council can help with your personal care and day-to-day activities.

For example, social services may offer to provide:

Social services can also give you information about local services and support, much of which is provided by charities, such as the Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK.

It’s a good idea to find out if you do need help by getting a needs assessment from social services. This assessment could identify needs you may not have considered.

A needs assessment is free and anyone can ask for one.

If the assessment shows you need help with everyday tasks, a person from social services will discuss this with you, and a relative or carer. Together you can agree a joint plan of needs and how these will be met.

The next step is a financial assessment (means test) to check if the council will pay towards the cost of your care.

How to get a needs assessment

If you haven’t already had a needs assessment, contact social services at your local council and ask for one.

Ideally, this assessment should take place face-to-face. It’s a good idea to have a relative or friend with you, if you’re not confident explaining your situation. They can also take notes for you.

If the needs assessment identifies you need help to cope day-to-day, and a joint plan is agreed, you will then have a financial assessment (means test) to see if the council will pay towards the cost of care. In most cases you will be expected to pay towards the cost.

Find out more about a needs assessment


Dementia emails week by week – Sign up to an email per week from NHS dementia information service by clicking HERE

Each week’s email will cover a different need-to-know topic, including:

Understanding dementia

Essential information about dementia, including what do to after a diagnosis and where to turn for advice.

Get the best dementia healthcare

Find out about the treatments available and how to get the most out of healthcare services.

Dementia at home

How to make sure someone with dementia is as comfortable as they can be at home. Plus how to get help at home and use technology that can make life a bit easier.

Finance and legal

Advice on how to organise financial and legal affairs for someone with dementia, and how to make plans for the future.

Get the best social care

Information on what help is available from social services and how to get the most out of it.

Carers: looking after yourself

If you’re looking after someone with dementia, who’s looking after you? Find out where to turn for help and support.


Click HERE to download our factsheet on Alzheimer’s Disease – the most common form of dementia.

A printable description of Alzheimer's DiseaseConnecting Carers

Connecting Carers – Connecting Carers & Connecting Young Carers

We work with unpaid Carers every day and have learned a great deal from them. We use this knowledge, and our position as the Highland Carer Centre, to ensure that unpaid Carers in Highland are not caring alone, that they are acknowledged and supported, and that they have access to the information they need to enable them to carry out their caring role.

Based in Dingwall, our team covers Highland from Caithness and Sutherland in the north to Lochaber in the South. Please contact the centre on 01463 723575, or call our Carer Support Line on 0463 723560 for help and advice.