Dementia refers to the loss of cognitive functioning to such an extent that it affects a person’s daily life and activities. Current research suggests that over 850,000 people in the UK are living with Dementia, 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia, and 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 suffer from the condition. The number of people with dementia is constantly increasing because people are living longer with it.

At New Victoria Hospital, our multidisciplinary Geriatrics team has a wealth of experience caring for those who are suffering from Dementia. Whether a patient is in the early or the progressed stages of the condition, our Dementia specialists will ensure they enjoy the highest standard of care and receive the support they require.


What is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term for the loss of memory and other thinking abilities which impacts daily activities. It covers a wide range of specific medical conditions including:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease (this makes up around 60% of cases in the UK)
  • Vascular Dementia (around 17% of people diagnosed with Dementia will have vascular Dementia)
  • Lewy Body Dementia (a progressive condition that affects movement and motor control)
  • Frontotemporal Dementia (third most common form of Dementia in people under 65)
  • Mixed Dementia (at least 1 in 10 people diagnosed with Dementia have more than one type)

Dementia is the result of damage to the brain cells, where they are no longer effective in communicating with each other. The different types of Dementia are related to damaged brain cells in particular regions of the brain. When brain cells can no longer communicate with each other properly it can cause problems with a person’s thinking, behaviour and feelings.

Symptoms of Dementia include:

  • Memory loss
  • Reduced thinking speed
  • Affected language - for example using words incorrectly or trouble speaking
  • Difficulty maintaining personal hygiene
  • Difficulty doing daily activities
  • Losing interest in usual activities
  • Managing behaviour or emotions
  • Social situations and losing interest in relationships and socialising
  • Personality changes and loss of empathy
  • Hallucinations
  • Maintaining independence as a result of affected mental ability

Although there is currently no cure, if Dementia is diagnosed at an early stage and the patient is provided with the right support, its progress can be managed and slowed down.

Look at brain scans

Dementia at New Victoria Hospital

While there isn’t a universal test for Dementia, at New Victoria Hospital, our start-of-the-start facilities allow our renowned Geriatric Consultants to carry out a range of tests to indicate whether an individual is suffering from the condition. These tests include:

  • Initial consultation to discuss medical history and concerning symptoms
  • Physical examination
  • Memory tests
  • Blood tests
  • CT or MRI scans

For any patient that is diagnosed with Dementia, the Geriatric Team at New Victoria Hospital will put together a carefully selected treatment plan to manage symptoms and ensure the highest possible quality of life is maintained. Treatment methods used may include:

  • Medicines that can help reduce cognitive and functional decline and improve the quality of life.
  • Cognitive Stimulation Therapy to help improve memory, problem-solving skills and language ability.
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation to help achieve personal goals such as learning to use a mobile phone.
  • Reminiscence and life story work using props such as photos or music to help improve mood and wellbeing.

Some factors that put people at risk of getting Dementia are unavoidable such as age and genetics, but it is widely accepted that adopting healthy lifestyle choices may decrease the risk of cognitive decline and Dementia.

At New Victoria Hospital we understand that Dementia can be both upsetting and stressful for those suffering from the condition, and for the people around them. Our experienced Geriatric Team will therefore make sure that every Dementia patient receives the emotional support they require.

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If you would like to receive more information on the Dementia services offered at New Victoria Hospital, please call us on 020 8949 9020 or fill out our online form. Our dedicated Appointments Team will work to find you an appointment with a Geriatric Consultant at a convenient time on the earliest possible date.

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Dr Gaggandeep Singh Alg

General Medicine and Geriatric Medicine
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