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Worried about your memory?

As we go through life we all notice some changes, sometimes it’s an odd ache or pain, our joints may be a little stiff, it takes us longer to do things than it used to and sometimes we notice changes with our memory.  This can be due to a variety of reasons but it is important to know that problems with memory are not a normal part of growing older and should always be checked out. It could be caused by feeling down, depressed or stressed but it’s worth getting checked out.

Dementia is the name given to a group of conditions that affect the way we think, our memory and sometimes our speech and perception. There are more than 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and probably a lot more that we don’t know about.

There are lots of sources of help and support. Treatment is available for some types and with the right support you can live well with dementia. 

So please don’t keep worrying about your memory, get it checked out. Go to your GP or call Health watch on 0300 77 77 007, where you can get more information.

You can find out more about dementia on these websites:


Dementia Friends

By becoming a dementia friend you can help raise awareness to help eradicate the stigma surrounding dementia. To find your nearest session click on the link above and enter your postcode. 

Don’t be embarrassed to seek help - it’s important to get checked out. It may be nothing but dementia isn’t part of natural ageing. There are other conditions which have similar symptoms, so a proper diagnosis is essential.

There may be other reasons for these symptoms, such as poor sight or hearing, emotional changes and upsets, such as moving or bereavement, side-effects of medications, depression, or mild cognitive impairment.

What will happen at my assessment?

Depending on your needs the assessment may take place at your home or care home, or in a variety of locations, including one of our Resource Centres.

You will be asked to bring someone who knows you well and who you trust to the assessment. This helps you feel more comfortable and relaxed. With your permission this friend/relative or carer will also be able to tell the memory service team a bit about you and talk about the issues that brought you to the memory service. Doing this will allow us to gather information to build up a picture before making a diagnosis.

The initial assessment usually takes between one and two hours. We’ll ask you to tell us about the problems you are having with your memory as well as more general information about you. You will be asked to complete some tasks that involve reading, drawing and answering questions.

Please bring a list of current medications you are taking and if you wear glasses or have hearing aids, bring them with you.

You may receive a diagnosis at the initial assessment but not always. You may be invited to undergo tests such as a brain scan or ECG, or you could be given a diagnosis and follow up/treatment options would be discussed with you.

If you are told that you do not have a clinical diagnosis you may be brought back to the clinic to be reviewed or discharged back to your GP.

If you are given a diagnosis but are not suitable or do not wish to take up treatment, your ongoing needs will be discussed with you and you will be referred to other services appropriate to meet these needs, or discharged back to the care of your GP.

We look forward to meeting you and your family, friend or carer.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us on one of the numbers on the right if you require any further information, or if you have any specific needs related to your assessment that we need to be aware of. 

What if I’m diagnosed with dementia?

There is so much that can be done and lots of help available. Medication can be prescribed for some types of dementia that can slow down the rate of progression.

At the memory clinic we offer counselling where you can discuss how you feel about the diagnoses with time to discuss the implications and answer questions and any immediate concerns.

You can talk about treatment options and get some memory aids and strategies to help you live a full life. We’ll also put you in touch with people who can help, from social services and voluntary agencies to support groups. When you decide to plan and make arrangements for the future, they can help you.

You will also have the chance to make some longer term plans. Who do you want to share your diagnosis with? We can help when you start to think about legal and financial issues, benefits, driving, powers of attorney and writing a will.

Learn more about the condition by becoming a Dementia Friend.

Everyone is different and the way they experience memory problems will be different. Our memory services put the person living with dementia first, providing practical advice and emotional support from the start.

Getting the right treatment and support at the right time means it’s possible to live well with dementia. Our community and hospital based services for people living in Liverpool, Sefton and Kirkby offer specialist assessment, medication, post diagnostic support, peer support groups, courses for carers, and therapies, including those recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Our North Sefton and Liverpool service have been accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the other parts of the service are currently going through the reaccreditation process. 

The service is designed to promote independence and quality of life. Our team of nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, support workers, speech therapists, doctors and psychologists work together to provide services within people's homes that provide support throughout the experience of dementia. In Liverpool you will also be allocated a care navigator who will keep in touch and signpost you to appropriate services as your needs change.

Mersey Care is proud to be a member of Liverpool and Sefton Dementia Action Alliances.

General Help

Benefits, Pensions and Financial Help

Lasting Power of Attorney, a legal document that allows you to appoint a person you trust to make decisions on your behalf when you are not able to do so. You will need a special form which can be obtained from a solicitor or law stationer.

Dementia UK runs a national helpline and email service Admiral Nursing DIRECT, which is for family and professional carers, people with dementia and those worried about their memory. For information about the North West please contact The Dementia Pioneer Tel: 020 7874 7200 Info@dementia.org

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service offers a home fire safety check  and advises on how to make simple changes to reduce the risk of fire, 0151 296 4000

RADAR – the largest disability campaigning organisation in the UK, RADAR runs a national key scheme for toilets for disabled people. Disability Rights UK, 12 City Forum, 250 City Road, London, EC1V 8AF 020 7250 3222

The Alzheimers Society has a range of fact sheets.

Continence Service – Provides information, support and advice for people experiencing problems with their bladder.  Referrals are made through your own GP. 

Help for families in Liverpool

Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit – People who have dementia, and those who care for them, may be entitled for relief on their council tax and housing benefit.

Age UK Merseyside – is an independent registered charity that provides information and advice on benefits, pension, legal matters, housing and advocacy. 5 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4DJ, Tel: 0151 707 7020

Support for people with dementia and carers

Alzheimer’s Society Liverpool provides information, advice and support for people living with dementia, their cares and families.  Services include:

  • A range of fact sheets and information leaflets on dementia and related subjects
  • Dementia support workers who can visit at home and provide personalised advice and support
  • Telephone advice
  • A variety of support and activity groups throughout Knowsley for people living with dementia and carers
  • Informal self help groups ‘Dementia Cafes’.

Neurosupport Centre, Norton Street Liverpool L3 8LR, 0151 298 2444 Liverpool@alzheimers.org.uk

Blue Badge Scheme offer parking concessions to some people who are disabled, although having a diagnosis of dementia does not automatically mean you will be issued with a blue badge. Contact The Blue Badge Helpline0844 463 0213, www.liverpool.gov.uk

Citizen’s Advice Bureau is an independent free service that offers help and advice with legal, money matters and other problems. 2 Newtown Gardens, Liverpool L32 8RR, 0845 122 1300 www.citizensadvice.org.uk/  or www.liverpoolcab.org

Live Well Liverpool hosts dementia advice and information for Liverpool

Counselling Services Liverpool can be accessed via your GP

Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton provide extensive information and support 0151 330 5678

Home Care  Liverpool Social Services can direct and advise you on all aspects of care at home including day care and respite care. Careline 0151 233 3800 www.liverpool.gov.uk

Admiral Nurses provides support to a carer or person who is a beneficiary of the British Legion. More information can be found through their free online help service or by ringing 0808 802 8080. 

Liverpool Advocacy and Information

Healthwatch Liverpool provide a directory of Services 0300 77 77 007 (costs same as local landline) Enquiries@heathwatchliverpool.co.uk www.healthwatchliverpool.co.uk

Liverpool Carers Centre may be able to support you in your role.

Liverpool Carers Centre, Local Solutions, Mount Vernon Green, Hall Lane, Liverpool

L7 8TF 0151 709 0990

Help for families in Sefton

Housing

People who have dementia, and those who care for them, may be entitled for relief on their council tax and housing benefit.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit,  Sefton Council, Finance Department, PO Box 2, Bootle, Merseyside0151 140 0845

or

One Stop Shop (Southport), Cambridge Arcade, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 1DA 0845 1400 8845

Alzheimer’s Society Sefton provides information, advice and support for people living with dementia, their cares and families.  Services include:

  • A range of factsheets and information leaflets on dementia and related subjects
  • Dementia support workers who can visit at home and provide personalised advice and support
  • Telephone advice
  • A variety of support and activity groups throughout Knowsley for people living with dementia and carers
  • Informal self help groups ‘Dementia Cafes’.

Alzheimer’s Society, Suite 5, Gordon House, 3-5 Leicester Street, Southport, Merseyside PR9 0ER, 01704 539 967 southport@alzheimers.org.uk

Age UK 93 Tulketh Street, Southport, Merseyside PR8 1AW01704 542993 www.ageconcernliverpool.org.uk                                                                     

Blue Badge Scheme helpline 0844 463 0213

Citizen’s Advice

Goddard Hall , 297 Knowsley Road, Bootle, Liverpool L20 5DF

Maghull Town Hall outreach: Hall Lane, Maghull, Merseyside L31 7BB 0151 288 5683

Southport: 24 Wright Street, Southport, Merseyside PR9 0TL, 01704 385627

Continence Service provides information, support and advice for people experiencing problems with their bladder.  Referrals are made through your GP.

Home Care a number of agencies can help with personal care tasks. Contact Sefton Social Services for further information www.sefton.gov.uk

Liverpool Disabled Living Centre for advice about mobility aids, wheelchairs and personal scooters (private or NHS) Lifehouse, Summers Road, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool L3 4BL 0151 296 7742 liverpoollifehouse.org/.../liverpool_disabled_living_centre.asp

Feel Good Factory The older person’s project supports people in their own home and through activities in the centre. 0151 291 8010 or 0151 291 8011 www.feelgoodfactory.org.uk

Sefton Carers Centre A one-stop shop of services providing support advice and assessment for carers, help filling in forms and writing letters,  complementary therapies, support groups, activities and training, advice and support on flexible accessible break scheme, emergency respite team, carers emergency card, welfare benefits advice, carer telephone helpline, advocacy support team, carers’ forum, direct payments and voucher schemes. 27-37 South Road, Waterloo, Merseyside, L22 5RF, 0151 288 6060 www.sefton-carers.co.uk

Help for families in Knowsley

Housing - People who have dementia, and those who care for them, may be entitled to relief on their council tax and housing benefit. One Stop shop, Cherryfield Drive, L32 1TX Tel: 0151 489 6000 www.knowsley.gov.uk

Age UK Knowsley and West Mersey – is an independent registered charity that provides information and advice on benefits, pension, legal matters, housing and advocacy.  Tel: 0151 290 3195 www.ageuk.org.uk/knowsleyandwestmersey/

Support for people with dementia and carers Alzheimer’s Society Knowsley provides information, advice and support for people living with dementia, their cares and families.  Services include:

  • A range of factsheets and information leaflets on dementia and related subjects.
  • Dementia support workers who can visit at home and provide personalised advice and support
  • Telephone advice
  • A variety of support and activity groups throughout Knowsley for people living with dementia and carers
  • Informal self help groups ‘Dementia Cafes’.

Alzheimer’s Society, 168 Dragon Lane, Whiston, L35 3QY, 0151 4264 433, Knowlsey@alzheimers.org.uk

Knowsley Admiral Nurses cover Knowsley Borough

Knowsley Health and Wellbeing Puma Court, Kings Business Park, Prescot, Merseyside, L34 1PJ, 0151 244 4369They have an open referral system. Referral forms can be emailed if encrypted, faxed or received verbally face to face or by telephone. The carer of the person with dementia must reside in the Knowsley area and be registered with a Knowsley GP.

Blue Badge Scheme-  offer parking concessions to some people who are disabled. The Blue Badge Helpline 0844 463 0213 knowsley.gov.uk/residents/roads-and.../blue-badges.aspx

Citizen’s Advice Bureau – is an independent free service that offers help and advice with legal, money matters and other problems.2 Newtown Gardens, Liverpool L32 8RR, 0845 122 1300

Counselling Services Knowsley Talking it Over with Somebody provides a list of counselling supports for life issues which service users and carers can access. www.knowyourcare.co.uk/.../talking-it-over-with-someone.aspx

Home Care Knowsley Social Services can direct and advise you on all aspects of care at home including day care and respite care. One Stop shop, Cherryfield Drive , L32 1TX, 0151 489 6000 www.knowsley.gov.uk

Memory Lane- Knowsley Dementia Care Support Provides emotional and practical support to carers - respite groups, functions, advice. 07900692058 or 07858032400

Knowsley Pensioners Advocacy and Information Advocacy, including dementia advocacy, and support  to enable older people to obtain their full rights as citizens, so enhancing their quality of life. Independent advocacy, welfare rights, Trader Approved Scheme, Befriending, signposting, and an advocacy hub.www.kpais.co.uk/

Knowsley Directory of Dementia Services http://www.housingcare.org/service/list/s-128-dementia/l-87-knowsley.aspx

Outreach for Older People Project is an information pack which can be downloaded from the website giving a wealth of useful information and contact numbers. www.kopv.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/.../OOP-book-final-pdf-0910.pdf

Knowsley Carers Centre aims to make a positive impact on the lives of anyone who lives in the Borough, who cares or has cared for a relative, friend or child who cannot manage without their help. Knowsley Carers Centre promotes understanding, honesty and respect for anyone who has caring responsibilities, 143 Bewley Drive, L32 9PE, 0151 549 1412 www.knowsleycarers.co.uk

Help for families in St Helens

Contact Cares

This is a service made up of different teams which includes falls team, careline, social care, nursing assessment, healthy living, reablement team, audiology and rehabilitation. You can self refer to Contact Cares.
Tel: 01744 676 767
Email: contactcares@sthelens.gov.uk
Website: www.sthelens.gov.uk/social-care-health/adults/contact-cares/contact-cares-community/ 

House of memories (based in Liverpool museum) has been developed to support carers in sharing of memories with people living with dementia, improving communication and focussing on the person rather than the condition.
Tel: 0151 478 4240
Email: learning@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk
Website: www.houseofmemories.co.uk
A house of memories app can be downloaded to a smartphone.

Admiral nursing service - Admiral nurses provide specialist dementia support working alongside people with dementia, and their families offering one to one support, expert guidance and practical solutions.

If you are a Pilkington beneficiary*, (someone who has worked for Pilkington for 10 years, their spouses and children) you can be referred to the service in St Helens Admiral Nurse Service by contacting the duty welfare officer on 01744 457900 or by email to enquiries@pilkingtonfamilytrust.com.

If you need to contact the Pilkington Family Trust funded admiral nurse or dementia support worker, they can be contacted on 01744 457922.

If you are not a Pilkington beneficiary, you can access support via the national telephone helpline run by Dementia UK: 0800 888 6678.

Eating aids
Adapted cutlery can sometimes be beneficial if patients are having dexterity problems. Coloured crockery can be more easily seen, and can make food more easily visible on the plate.

Eating aids can be purchased from mobility stores or online, some examples are given below:
Ableworld St Helens
9 Eccleston Street
St Helens, WA10 2 PG
Tel: 01744 410 550
Email: info@ableworldsthelens.co.uk
Website: www.ableworld.co.uk

Neater Eater,Neater Drinker (self feeding aids)
Tel: 01298 238 823
Email: info@neater.co.uk
Website: www.neater.co.uk/neater-eater

Ready made meals
Preprepared ready meals can be helpful if you have difficulties cooking meals yourself.
Different companies can offer frozen meals, cooked meals with delivery and specialist diets. Some examples are given below:
Wiltshire Farm Foods
Tel: 0800 077 3100
Website: www.wiltshirefarmfoods.com

Pilkingtons Meal Service - If you are a Pilkington beneficiary they can offer a hot meal and/or frozen meal delivery service to the housebound.
Oak House Foods
Tel: 0333 370 3100
Website: www.oakhousefoods.co.uk

Over the past decade national policy has continually recognised the need for improvements in dementia care and in particular the information and psychological support offered to people being given a diagnosis and their carers. Policy has consistently recognised the need for people to have access to specialist assessment and an early diagnosis. This was the main driver that saw the development of memory clinics. (National Service Framework2001, Audit Commission, Forget Me Not Report 2002) 

A major consultation of people with dementia, their carers and other stakeholders preceded the publication of The National Dementia Strategy (2009) and this has become the main policy driver within dementia.  It sets out the government’s commitment to individuals with dementia and their family carers ensuring high quality care and support, based on individual need and enabling people to live well with dementia. 

Since then, recognising and knowing the person, not just the dementia has been a consistent message in subsequent national policies on dementia and more recently reports on the need to change the prevailing culture from ‘task’ to compassionate ‘relationships’.

The Prime Ministers “Challenge on Dementia” (2012) stressed the need to continue to drive the improvements laid out in the strategy.  The challenge is to ensure

“That every person gets the treatment and support which meets their needs and their life”  

Although the Memory Service is predominantly a clinical service it is active in research and has developed close links to local universities. The research activity helps the service to evaluate what it is achieving clinically as well as contributing to new ideas which may enhance the quality of life of people with dementia and their families in the future.

The memory service believes that all service users and carers have a right to choose whether or not to participate in relevant research, and is working with the Trust’s Research Governance Committee to develop a system where people who use our services and their carers will be routinely asked whether they want to be informed about and involved in relevant research projects either as ‘participants’ or potentially as advisers to research teams.

If you attend one of our clinics you may meet Research Nurse Catherine Snape who recruits patients and carers for specific projects. Getting involved is voluntary and optional.

If you would like to get involved in research please discuss this with someone from the memory service team or your care coordinator.

 

Our research looks at:

Understanding how people are affected by a diagnosis of dementia (for example what helps carers to stay ‘resilient’ and in what way people with dementia think about the future.

Medical and Biological Research, into the effects of drug treatment as well as trying to understand what is happening in the brains of people with dementia (for example we were involved in a study looking at the effectiveness of antidepressants in people with dementia who are also depressed).

Understanding how technology, lifestyle and nutrition can help people with dementia. Our Staff, service users and carers are active participants in a large North West European project called Innovate Dementia. Mersey Care has partnered with John Moores University to become the main UK contributor to this on-going project.