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The Alzheimers Disease Society gives info about Dementia - the causes, types etc.  Dementia primarily affects older people, but there are some types which occur in younger people - see CANDID site.

Symptoms of Dementia may include the following:

changes in behaviour

changes in mood - depression is sometimes confused with dementia

confusion and disorientation

loss of ability to perform everyday tasks

personality changes

forgetfulness - not just of simple everyday things such as where you left your purse, but what a purse is for (eg).   Most distressing perhaps, is when your relative may forget who you are

There are many causes of dementia, and each one presents differently - however slight.  Those with Vascular dementia (multiple strokes) for instance, are said to retain their personality more than those with Alzheimers.  Some causes have a hereditary component, others may due to infection or as a result of another illness.   More information from the Links below. 

Whatever the cause, dementia has a devastating effect on the sufferer and imposes great strain on those who care for them.  Dementia progresses, so that the sufferer gradually deteriorates.  Increasingly, he/she is able to do less, understand less.  There are new medications available which can help slow down the progression, but  It is likely that eventually, the sufferer will require residential nursing care in a hospital or specialist home.  Other therapies may also be used - such as Occupational Therapy,   Validation Therapy,   Music Therapy,   Reminiscence TherapySONAS,  and the use of Multi-Sensory Environments (Snoezelen).  

There has been media interest recently about a vaccine for Alzheimers - more info here

Family and Friends can be an incredible source of help and support - and it's important to let them know about your difficulties and stresses, so that they are better able to understand, and more inclined to offer help.

If you have any concerns about yourself, or about an elderly relative or neighbour - then there are various professionals you can contact for help and advice.   In the first instance, see your General Practitioner.   

He/she will be able to advise you of your next step, which may involve a referral to the Consultant at the Castel Hospital (where Guernsey's Mental Health Services are based).  He in turn will be able to arrange a support system at home, utilising services such as the Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Elderly - a Community Nurse based at the Castel Hospital.  She will be able to offer support and advice in your home.  Also based at the Castel Hospital are specialist Social Workers and Occupational Therapists.   Day Care is also available, and Respite or Holiday Care can also be arranged - where the sufferer can be admitted to hospital for a short period of time to provide holiday relief for the carers.

Other professionals such as District Nurses are also available (arranged via your GP or the Consultant).

There are many voluntary groups who can also offer much needed support, including the Alzheimers Association, Guernsey Welfare Service, Information Exchange, Age Concern, WRVS (including their Meals on Wheels service) and the Citizens Advice Bureau.  St John Ambulance also run a Care in the Community Service.   See Links below for sites and telephone numbers. 


Guernsey Links          General (Dementia) Links      Alzheimers       CJD      Huntingtons     Picks    Korsakoffs     AIDS      Lewy Body      Treatment         Books

Guernsey Links & Telephone Numbers

Alzheimers Association          247395
Association of Guernsey Charities         235851
Castel Hospital League of Friends        244067
Guernsey Welfare Service        722732
Information Exchange       Disability Information    707470
Citizens Advice Bureau        721172
Age Concern          256991
St John Ambulance  725211
SJA Care in the Community     247357
WRVS        247518

Dementia Links

Information for Carers

Essential Information for Care Givers

Carers National Association

Managing Activities of Daily Living

Action on Dementia

Dementia Care Trust

Dementia Factsheet

Help the Aged

Changing Minds - Alzheimers & Dementia

Dementia Web

Memory and Dementia - RC Psych

Communicating with the Person with Dementia

Communicating with the Confused Elderly Patient

Safety in the Home

Understanding & Dealing with Challenging Behaviour

CANDID  Younger people with Dementia

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia   RCPsych

Older People's Mental Health   RCPsych

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimers Disease Society

Alzheimers Helpline    0845 300 0336

Frequently Asked Questions

The Alzheimer Page

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia   RCPsych

Alzheimers International

Alzheimer Web

Alzheimer Research Forum

Alzheimers Discussion Forum

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease   (CJD)

CJD Foundation

CJD Discussion Forum

Huntington's Disease

Huntington's Disease

Huntington's Disease Factsheet

Scottish Huntington's Association

Huntington's Discussion Forum

Pick's Disease

Pick's Disease

Pick's Disease FAQ

Korsakoff's Syndrome

Korsakoff's Syndrome Factshet

AIDS Dementia Complex

AIDS Dementia

AIDS Dementia Complex

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia

Lewy Net

Lewy Body Discussion Forum

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia

Vascular Dementia

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Reminiscence Therapy
Psychedelic Room Helps Dementia Patients
Multi-Sensory Environments
Validation Therapy
What is Validation Therapy?
Music Therapy

Music Therapy Research with Dementia Patients

Music Therapy in Alzheimer and Dementia Care


Remind Me Who I Am Again
Iris - A Memoir of Iris Murdoch
Alzheimer's:  A Caregiver's Guide and Sourcebook
Books at the Alzheimers Disease Society

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04 May 2002