Getting help with memory problems

If you are worried about yourself or a family member or friend experiencing forgetfulness, the first port of call should always be the GP. This is important because other conditions such as depression, stress, infection or certain blood problems may cause similar, but treatable changes in thinking and behaviour. As well as doing a brief test to assess your memory, the GP can also quickly check your physical health to exclude and treat other causes.

Whilst GPs do not normally make a diagnosis of dementia, as mentioned they will do a brief assessment of memory and thinking. If other causes have been ruled out, then based on the outcome of this test, the GP may just keep an eye on you and see you again in a few months to repeat the tests to see if things have changed, or if indicated, they may refer an individual on to a specialist memory assessment service.

In Swindon, Memory Assessment Services are provided by: Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust 

What can cause memory problems?

It's happened to all of us at some time or another: you can't put a name to a face, you forget where you put your keys, you can't remember where you parked the car. Most of the time such slips are a nuisance rather than a sign of something more serious. And, of course, some of us have always been more absentminded than others.

But if you are worried that your memory - or that of someone you know - is getting noticeably worse, or if memory problems are beginning to have a knock-on effect on everyday life, it could be an early sign of a medical condition such as dementia.

Although some people might feel scared or embarrassed talking about memory problems, seeing your GP can make all the difference. There are a number of treatable medical conditions that can cause memory problems, and it is important to rule these out as soon as possible.

How to get in touch

If you are worried about your memory you should contact your GP, they should be the first point of call.

For all referrals and general enquiries relating to adult social care you can contact the Adult Social Care team

Links to fact sheets:

 The Alzheimer's Society website also has some useful advice on living with memory problems which you may find helpful.