Useful Links for Those Affected by a Diagnosis of Dementia

Written by Laura Walker.

Useful Links for Those Affected by a Diagnosis of Dementia

I had the joy on Wednesday of taking part in a live webinar hosted by RBS for their staff entitled “Dealing with a Dementia Diagnosis”

Max Pownell, Founder and Director from Carecalls CIC, and I chatted about the things that people affected by a new diagnosis may find helpful to know. Max’s social enterprise has all sorts of genius technical solutions for living independently at home.

I thought as I made my way through the countryside on the train home that the links I recommended would be really useful to share with everyone.

Dementia is not an inevitable part of getting older. All of us can expect to get a bit more forgetful as time goes on. All of our brains will be starting to shrink as we grow older. This means that we may not find words as easily as we used to, or we may become a bit more forgetful. This is normal.

It is not normal though when forgetfulness, getting lost in familiar places or consistent word-finding difficulties get in the way with normal functioning in your every-day life.

Dementia is an umbrella term that covers many causes. Alzheimer’s is the most common (60% of all dementias are caused by Alzheimer’s)

All dementia’s affect common areas including memory, calculation, thinking, language & orientation to time and place.

Dementia occurs when there is damage to the brain that is caused by either a disease or condition that is progressive.

Understanding the type of dementia that has been diagnosed will help you to be able to find out more about the symptoms you can expect.

Early diagnosis is important because it means you will be able to plan ahead and make important decisions about how you would like things to be in the future.

So here are the links I recommended today:

Alzheimer’s Society

A good place to start to look for more information on the different types of dementia and what to expect is the Alzheimers Society There is a multitude of factsheets that you can read on different aspects of dementia. They also have a National Dementia Helpline 0300 8886678 and Their online forum ‘Talking Point’ is a great place to meet other people who are affected by a dementia diagnosis and there is lots advice to be had from those that have been through it. The Alzheimers Society also has a free publication called Dementia Together which is worth signing up for.

Admiral Nurses

Another great organisation is Dementia UK www.dementiauk Here you can access advice from specially trained dementia specialist nurses called Admiral Nurses. You can find out if there is an Admiral Nurse in your area. Admiral Nurses are there to support families and loved ones who are caring for people living with dementia. They also have a National helpline and the helpline is run by qualified and registered nurses who will be able to advise you. 0800 8886678

Other people in the same boat

A common occurrence for people living with a dementia is that it is often hard to get your voice heard due to the symptoms you may be experiencing. I can highly recommend getting involved in your local DEEP group. DEEP stands for Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project. The groups are made up of people living with dementia who are active in having a say on important issues that affect them. You can find your nearest group here

Under 65

For those that are experiencing young onset dementia, (those under the age of 65) there is a great organisation called young dementia UK The issues that working-age people face when living with dementia can be different to retired people. It is important that you and your family know how to navigate this different landscape and so I recommend getting connected with this organisation who can support you.

Research anyone?

If you or someone you know is living with dementia they may well wish to be involved in cutting edge research. is the website to go to if this is of interest. It is also a great place to get statistics and find out more facts about dementia. They have also produced a virtual walkthrough of what it may feel like to have the symptoms of dementia which can be downloaded on to your phone


Finally, if you are wondering what activities may work for people living with dementia, the most important thing to think about is who they are, and what they have previously enjoyed. You may need to adapt activities so that they can still be engaged with eg. Someone may have loved knitting but due to their symptoms may not be able to knit anymore. Try winding wool instead. This muscle memory is likely to still be accessed. Forget thinking of activity needing an end result and instead think about engaging in the moment. Simple things like peeling potatoes can be accessed well into the progression of dementia as it doesn’t need conscious cognition to do. If you would like ideas for activities to buy check out Active Minds

These robotic companion pets may seem strange but I have seen some wonderful responses from people in the mid-later stages of dementia.





Laura Walker is Co-founder and Director/Joint CEO at Memory Matters South West CIC which she co-runs with her sister in law Kate Smith. Both are former nurses. Memory Matters is an organisation that helps people living with dementia to thrive in their community. Memory Matters have a city centre reminiscence café in Plymouth designed by people living with dementia and open to everyone. All profits made from the café are used to fund the information, support and therapy we provide in communities in the south west. Memory Matters  also provide training and coaching to organisations, health staff and families affected by dementia.


Virtual CST- Watch a Session

We usually run weekly workshops in 5 areas in Cornwall. After lockdown was announced we moved quickly to get as many of our beneficiaries online as we could. By the second week of lockdown most groups had an online option…

Kate and Laura Talk about 10 years of Memory Matters

To celebrate ten years of Memory Matters on Monday 15th June, we have created a conversation with Kate and Laura over Zoom. WE had a lot of celebrating planned but unfortunately our plans were scuppered by COVID 19. Make yourself…

Supporting Moments Café throughout COVID-19

A few days after celebrating Moments Café’s 3rd birthday, we had to close our doors to help protect our customers and staff from COVID-19. Our customers are always our priority and we are counting down the days until we can…

Helping Someone with Dementia to Stay Mentally Active

Learn the key principles to cognitive stimulation to help loved ones stay mentally active whilst staying at home. We have spent the last ten years working with people living with dementia on keeping mentally active. There is definitely something in…

Getting Good Life Balance Whilst Staying at Home

We have been asked if there is anything we can do to help you fill the days during isolation. Whilst some people are happy to just go with the flow and see what happens during the day, others are looking…

COVID-19 Volunteers – Successful Dementia Conversation Tips

The unprecedented situation we find ourselves in is meaning we are are all having to learn fast. If you are volunteering in your community delivering food shopping or helping out your neighbours you may be helping people living with dementia….

5 Things to help you keep Brain Fit while self-isolating

As many of us find ourselves stuck at home, we may find ourselves starting to feel that our brains are lacking the stimulation that we receive in our normal day-to-day life. In my six week course, I work with people…

Thriving With Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST)

“I notice a difference in him. He has lots to talk about after attending a Memory Matters Workshop. We have good conversations. He wasn’t talking much before” This was a recent comment from the wife of one of our Memory…

Top UK Inspirational Women Award For Kate & Laura

Do something novel to keep your brain fit today!

Experiencing something new creates the ‘Novelty response’ in the brain. Our hippocampus jumps into action as soon as we engage with something novel. Our brains are activated by anything we haven’t experienced before as it is hard-wired to become alert….

Why do I forget names?

I have just come back from one of our lottery funded public talks ‘How to remember things better’ at Truro library. It was great fun and the room was full of friendly people who just want their memories to work…

10 Healthy Brain Habits you can do today…

1. Get up and go to be bed early. 2. Drink a whole glass of water as soon as you get up. 3. Write 3 things you are grateful for. 4. Do something that makes you sweat. 5. Wear clothes…

Five Successful Conversation Starters That Don’t Rely on Memory

Memory Difficulties are the most common symptom people living with dementia experience. Conversations generally rely on us remembering what has been said just a minute ago to keep the flow which can be tricky and our ‘small talk’ usually relies…

Are Mandalas Good For The Brain?

I wasn’t that long ago that I had become a little obsessed with mandalas. I even attempted to convince Kate (my co-director) that Memory Matters could have a little rebrand and become Mandala Matters instead, with a marvellous mandala logo….

Who’s Driving?

Another great Insight from Memory Matters Trainer Phillippa Hodge through having coffee with her friend who lives with dementia.

Repetitive Questions

Our trainer Phillippa Hodge explores dealing with repetitive questions…

My friend dementia. The story of a Memory Matters staff member.

I intended to be a maker of things. Working from a secluded studio, quiet with my materials and thoughts. I was studying a contemporary crafts BA at Plymouth College of Art, working predominately with clay. I love the cool, quiet…

Who’s Behaviour is Challenging Anyway?

Memory Matters’ Trainer Phillippa Hodge tells us about her experience with her friend John and how her willingness to learn how the world may look from his perspective helped those around him to communicate more effectively.

Volunteer Pam Warren gains recognition for all her hard work

This is Pam Warren. She is one of the Kindest and compassionate people we know and we are so lucky to have her on board as a volunteer. Pam works tirelessly, she bakes cakes every week and has done since Memory…