It is normal as we age to experience difficulties in remembering and recalling some facts and names. However, if you have concerns about your memory or indeed if family and friends have noticed you having particular difficulties, it is important to seek help early.

‘Dementia’ is not a disease in itself. It’s an umbrella term that covers a huge range of symptoms. Memory loss is perhaps the most common thing one associates with dementia, but it can also affect problem-solving, language and behaviour. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

Step One

Make an appointment to talk your concerns over with your GP. You can book a double-length appointment, to allow extra time. It’s helpful if you take a partner, family member, or friend with you for support, maybe take a pen and paper so that you can make notes.

Step Two

Depending on the outcome of this appointment, your GP may recommend that you have a blood test  to check for other conditions that may mimic dementia-like symptoms. You may then be given an appointment with the Memory team.

The Memory team may be able see you in your own home, or you may be invited to visit them in Shrewsbury or Ludlow, they may also offer Zoom appointments.

The assessment is mostly verbal and involves answering questions, being asked to remember information, plus a few writing and drawing tasks. After the assessment they will share their findings with you, although it may not always be possible for them to give a diagnosis immediately.


The Memory team will share their findings with your GP and with Teresa Smith  (Advanced Nurse Practitioner at BCMP specialising in dementia). In some cases, further tests may be requested such as an MRI or CT scan. These could be done to understand the extent of damage that may have been caused in the event a stroke, or vascular dementia.

Step Four

If you are given a diagnosis of dementia you may feel worried or upset, although some people feel relieved to have an explanation of what’s happening to them. You may want a little time to absorb  the news, but you will need reassurance and support so it’s likely you’ll feel much better if you take the following steps fairly soon after a diagnosis.

Step Five

There is a lot of information and help online but it can be quite overwhelming, and some of it may be confusing or may not apply to you. It’s likely to be more helpful to start with a more personalised approach, for you can explore local support by contacting the Bishop’s Castle Community Dementia Team:

Valerie Woodmansey  01588 650940

Christine Williams 01588 650869

They will talk to you about your particular situation, and tell you about local  support groups.

The 800 Club

The person or people who will be helping you deal with your dementia may be interested in attending the 800 Club which meets in the back room of the Six Bells Pub in Bishop’s Castle  on the first Monday in every  month at 10.30am. The group’s aim is to offer information and support

for those caring for someone with dementia. There is often a speaker, followed by time to chat informally.                  email:

Useful Contacts

 Alzheimer’s Society

Where you can find lots of information, including literature and support aids.   Their forums are useful.

 PALZ (Professionals with Alzheimer’s or Dementia-related symptoms)

PALZ group meet up in Shrewsbury monthly and offer support, mental stimulation to increase self respect and confidence.

 Dementia UK

 Https:// offering support and advice.

Shropshire Carers Support Team

Lots of practical advice.

Carers UK


Dementia Engagement  Empowerment Project (DEEP)

Https://www.        UK Network of Dementia Voices

Age UK         Drop in centres offering support, clubs and advice.

Dementia and Memory Services


Tel:0808 196 4501

For more information about Dementia, visit