Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

It is very important to get a proper diagnosis which will help the doctor rule out any illnesses that might have similar symptoms of dementia, including depression. Having a diagnosis may also mean it is possible to be prescribed medication for Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia can be diagnosed by a doctor, either a GP or a specialist. The specialist may be a geriatrician (a doctor specialising in the care of older people), a neurologist (someone who concentrates on diseases of the nervous system) or a psychiatrist (a mental health specialist). The doctor may carry out a number of tests to check basic thinking processes and the ability to perform daily tasks. They may request further tests, such as a brain scan or a more in-depth assessment of memory, concentration and thinking skills.

At present, it is not clear what causes most of the diseases that lead to dementia. It is not clear what can be done to prevent dementia itself but the evidence does indicate that a healthy diet and lifestyle may help protect against dementia. In particular, exercising regularly, avoiding fatty foods, not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation and keeping mentally and socially active into old age may help to reduce the risk of developing vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

If you need any more help or advice there are many excellent charities who can give you advice and support. We have listed them in the student resources section of this course. If you find any that you would like to add, please let us know and we will get them added.