Dementia

What do you need to know?

Dementia is a term that is used to describe a collection of symptoms including memory loss, problems with reasoning and communication skills, and a reduction in a person's abilities and skills in carrying out daily activities such as washing, dressing, cooking and caring for self.

There are a number of different types of dementia the most common being alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, fronto-temporal dementia and dementia with lewy bodies.

Dementia can not be cured. It is a progressive condition, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse. This progression will vary from person to person and each person will experience dementia in a different way. Although it is inevitable that progression will occur, certain lifestyle choices can help to slow this process down, allowing you to remain healthier for longer.

For more information about dementia take a look at the links below:

What can you do to improve your care?

Maintaining an active lifestyle

It is important to remember that having dementia should not stop you from remaining active, with a fulfilling social life. By continuing your hobbies, it will help you to maintain an interest in life.

There are a number of support services available for people with dementia who would like to become part of a social group:

(For more information about the ‘drop in’ services please see ‘accessing support if you are a carer of someone with dementia’ below)

The Bracknell Forest iHub also allows you to search for support services for people with dementia and further information can be found on the Bracknell Forest Council dementia webpage.

Below are some contact details for local services that provide activities for people with dementia: 

Service Telephone number
Singing for the Brain (Alzheimer’s Society) 07713 390714
Alzheimer’s Singing Klub 01344 306951
Tea Dances (Alzheimer’s Dementia Support) 07516 165665
Gym Classes (Wellbeing and Leisure Team) 07887 632627
Social outings (Ascot Area Alzheimers or Triple ‘A’) 01344 621491
Memory Cafe 07713 390714

The Bracknell Memory Service runs a 14 week Cognitive Simulation Therapy Course for people with dementia, as well as a 6 week Understanding Dementia Course for Carers of people with dementia. Referral is made through the memory clinic.

Dementia Advisory Service

The Bracknell Forest Dementia Advisory Service provides advice and support for those who have been diagnosed with dementia, their carers, family and friends. This information includes:

  • Local support services
  • Getting a break
  • Legal planning
  • Support for carers
  • Living well with dementia
  • National support services
  • Money matters

If you are worried about your memory problems, but do not have a diagnosis of dementia then you will need to contact your GP first. If you have a diagnosis then you can contact the advisory service by calling Karen White (dementia adviser) on 01344 823220 or email karen.white@berkshire.nhs.uk

For further support available in Bracknell Forest please take a look at the Bracknell Forest Council Dementia Directory.

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise programme

It is important, with any condition, to ensure that your diet does not deteriorate and that you continue to live a healthy lifestyle through a balanced programme of exercise. This will not only help you to remain physically healthy, but will also improve your psychological health. The Bracknell Forest Council website also provides an A-Z of sports and recreational activities that are available locally.

If you like the open air and would like to undertake moderate exercise that is not too physically demanding then the Bracknell Forest Ramblers’ route offers a 26 mile walking trail around the countryside.

If you are looking to lose and/or manage your weight Slimming World can help you to maintain a balanced and nutritional diet and reach and stay at a healthy weight by providing weekly local weight loss support groups.

If you meet set criteria then you may be eligible for a free referral to Slimming World. Referrals are made via Bracknell Forest GP Practices, Stop smoking service and Children Centres. This will enable you to access a free 12-week course to Slimming World if the programme criteria are met. For further information please email Public.Health@bracknell-forest.gov.uk

Accessing support if you are feeling down

Dementia can cause people to feel down, stressed, anxious, scared or angry (or a mix of all of these). It is important to remember that this is a common psychological reaction to the onset of Dementia and that support is out there. If you do not wish to talk to a family member or friend, then professional support is available in the local area. Talking Therapies have a team of advisors and therapists that can help you to manage your feelings through a range of ways (workshops, counselling, telephone support etc).

The Older People’s Mental Health Service in Bracknell Forest provides mental health assessments and on-going support for people with Dementia or other mental health conditions (depression, psychosis and severe anxiety).

For more information about depression and anxiety, please view our Depression and Anxiety page.

Accessing support if you are a carer of someone with dementia

If you are caring for someone with dementia then Berkshire Carers Service can provide you with free information, advice and support services for free. Things that they can help with include:

  • Benefits and grants
  • Information about health and social care services
  • Emotional support
  • Finding training to support your caring services
  • Form filling
  • Meeting other carers
  • Respite care and planning a break from caring
  • Managing working and caring.

For more information call 0800 988 5462 or email helpine@berkshirecarers.org

Sandhurst day centre and Heathlands day centre both offer a ‘drop in’ service to support carers. Sandhurst Day Centre ‘drop in’ service is available from 9.30am-4pm Monday to Friday. Heathlands Day Centre ‘drop in’ service is available from 8am-7pm 7 days a week.

The person who will be attending will need to visit the Day Centre with their carer for a short introduction and assessment. Once registered, the carer can then book the service by telephoning:

  • Sandhurst Day Centre 01252 877601
  • Heathlands Day Centre 01344 360775 or 01344 425650.

Other local services that you may find useful

Home support equipment (Forestcare)

Forestcare offer equipment and installation to help to support people in their homes. This equipment includes:

  • Lifeline alarms- a personal alarm system that connects to Forestcare control centre. When you activate the alarm a call is made to the centre who will ensure that you are given the correct assistance.
  • Sensors- connected to your lifeline, and available for a range of reasons, if the sensor is activated a call will automatically be made to the call centre and the dealt with appropriately.
  • Daily reassurance and medical calls- with a lifeline you can also choose to have reassurance or reminder calls from one of the team at the time(s) you choose every day. This might be to remind you to take your medication, check on your well-being or just to say hello.
  • Keysafes- a PIN accessible small box which is secured in a discreet location on the outside of your house. You can nominate friends and family to be keyholders for you or, in the event of an emergency, if you are unable to get to your front door, we can give your PIN number to the emergency services / keyholders so they can gain access without forcing the door.

Price lists for these can be found on the Forestcare website.

Forestcare are currently offering a 12 week free trial of the lifeline alarm for anyone living in Bracknell Forest. This offer is available to new customers who take out a lifeline for a limited time.  For more information please call the Forestcare team on 01344 786 500. 

Falls prevention (FallsFree4Life)

Dementia can increase your risk of falling for a number of reasons. Dementia can affect the ways that we think, orientation, perception and judgement; all of which are needed to keep you on your feet.  

A brand new service, FallsFree4Life, has been developed in Bracknell Forest! If you are 65 or over (or know someone who is) and live in Bracknell Forest then you can arrange to have an in-depth falls risk assessment with a FallsFree4Life wellness coach in the comfort of your own home. Your coach will also offer you falls prevention advice tailored to your needs and support you in accessing local services that can help to reduce your risk.

For more information, please visit the FallsFree4Life website or to book an appointment:

Call 01183 341861

Email info@fallsfree4life.co.uk

Contact details for local services