What should I do If I am worried?

It is very important not to jump to conclusions. Confusion or forgetfulness does not mean, necessarily, that someone has dementia. Many other conditions, such as infections, depression or the side effects of medicines can cause similar problems. See your family doctor (GP) if you have noticed a change, gradual or sudden, from what is normal for you, or if your symptoms are causing you problems in your life. It is important that if you have dementia you are diagnosed as early as possible.

This means that you have the best opportunity to:

  • talk about your diagnosis and your feelings with friends and family
  • benefit from any appropriate treatments
  • get information, for example about welfare benefits and support available
  • get support such as counselling or join a support group
  • choose someone to handle your financial affairs or take welfare and health care decisions
  • make other decisions for the future such as making an advance directive or living will about what treatments you would or would not want
  • understand what the future holds for you
  • get other affairs in order (for example, write your will).

Carer's Support

Avoiding Isolation

An online forum, providing advice, support and social contact for people with dementia and their carers and a magazine run by Alzheimer`s UK.

Legal Matters

Wills and Powers of attorney, financial and welfare matters – the important guide here is that documents have to be signed while the person with dementia still understands. Alzheimer Scotland has an excellent online information provision on every aspect of this complex but vitally mportant process.
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Social Services and your right to an assessment of need

Carers have a legal right to an assessment of their needs.The purpose of a carer's assessment is for you, as a carer, to discuss with social services what help you need with caring as well as any help that would maintain your own health, and balance caring with other aspects of your life such as work and family commitments.  The Social Work Department use the assessment to decide what help to provide.


The benefits system is very complicated and claiming can be difficult and time-consuming. If you are not sure whether you can claim, you can get advice from your local Citizens' Advice Bureau, disability organisations, a carers' project or Age Concern branch.