Getting a diagnosis

The diagnosis put an end to the fraught discussions and confusion that we all went through trying to work out what Mum’s behaviour meant.  Diagnosis has re-standardised our lives, re-standardised our roles and tasks in relation to Mum.

- Rob, whose mum was diagnosed with young onset frontotemporal dementia aged 52

Memory problems are often the first signs of dementia, although this is not necessarily the case for younger people.  You may see changes in behaviour instead, a loss of interest in life or an inability to complete tasks.  Some forms of dementia can also involve problems with vision.

Many of us experience changes in our memory as we get older and concerns you have may be unfounded.  Stress, depression and dietary deficiencies can all cause changes in our abilities.  If there are changes that affect your everyday life, then consider doing something positive about it. 

Talk to your GP

If you are worried, talk to your GP.

It is important to make an appointment as soon as possible.  Why not ask a friend or family member to go with you?  They can offer you support and if needed, can help by offering the GP information or observations about you or noting down the answers to your questions.   Although you may be reluctant to get a diagnosis, understanding the cause of any symptoms can alleviate a lot of stress and worry.  

It also means you can access support at an early stage to help you to make the most of life.  There may also be treatments available which can help to manage the symptoms.

The benefits of a timely diagnosis

  • Takes away uncertainty
  • Helps you get the right treatments and access the best sources of support
  • Allows you to adjust emotionally and psychologically
  • Enables you to make early decisions about the future.

The Young Dementia Network has created a Personal checklist which is intended to help a person to be aware of the most common signs and symptoms of young onset dementia and record changes and symptoms they may be experiencing.  The information can be used to provide prompts for a conversation with a GP or health professional.  We hope you will find it useful.  Click here.

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