What should I do if I am worried about my memory?
It is only when the shortfalls in memory are occurring regularly or if they are interfering with your ability to manage your day to day life that they should be explored further.
If your memory is causing you to struggle with things you once did well such as finding the right words, managing money, keeping appointments, getting lost or driving amongst others then you should go and speak to your GP. It may also be helpful to ask a family member or friend to go along with you for support.
What to expect when attending the Memory Assessment Service (MAS)
You will have been referred to the Memory Assessment Service (also known as the Memory Clinic) because it has been noticed that you may have been experiencing problems with your memory. The MAS is run by the Older Adult Community Mental Health Team based at the Oberlands Centre and the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
Following the referral, a member of MAS will arrange to come and see you at home. It would be helpful if someone who knows you well attends the assessment with you to offer support also.
They will explain the assessment process to you and you will have the opportunity to discuss current memory problems, your physical health history, your medications and how you manage to carry out day to day activities. They can also provide information about any extra support you may need.
At a later date you will be invited along to have a memory assessment at the Oberlands Centre. With you permission, your family members/supporter will also be able to share their views.
Once these assessments are completed you may be offered a further appointment to see a specialist doctor who will aim to explain the probable cause of your memory problems. They may make a diagnosis and prescribe some medication to help you.
What happens after you have been assessed in the MAS?
If a diagnosis of dementia is made, a member of the Memory Assessment Team will arrange to visit you at home. You will be offered information regarding your diagnosis and practical help that is available if needed.
They will signpost you to voluntary sector support groups that exist in Guernsey if required such as the Alzheimer’s Society, Guernsey Alzheimer’s Association and Dementia friendly Guernsey (www.dementiafriendly.org.gg)
After 3 visits over approximately 12 weeks you may discharged from the clinic or offered ongoing support from the Older Adult Community Mental Health Team if required.
For further information www.signpost.gg or call 725241 Ext 3515.
What do local support groups offer?
Alzheimer’s Society Guernsey
The Alzheimer’s Society Guernsey branch offers post-diagnostic personalised support on a one-to-one basis either at your home or other mutually convenient location.
Tel: 01481 233700
Guernsey Alzheimer’s Association
The Guernsey Alzheimer’s Association focuses on caring for the carers of people living with dementia.
They offer a sitter service for short term respite e.g. one or 2 hours per week.
In addition at their Delancey Centre they offer a variety of support groups and information sessions.
Tel: 01481 255520 or 01481 711077 or 01481 245121
Dementia Friendly Guernsey
Dementia Friendly Guernsey supports the community to become more dementia friendly.
Their website provides information about dementia and lists local support services for those affected by dementia.
If you’re worried about your memory or would like to find out more information about the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support in Guernsey for ongoing memory difficulties and dementia please follow these links:
GOV.GG – Memory Services
www.signpost.gg or call 725241 Ext 3515