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Around 93,000 people in Scotland today are living with dementia and this number is forecast to increase over the next decade.  Early diagnosis of the condition is crucial and can help prolong the quality of life for people living with dementia.

Funded by the Life Changes Trust, Age Scotland’s Early Stage Dementia team seeks to raise awareness of early stage dementia and the signs and symptoms of the condition.

The team has provided:

  • Dementia awareness training to our member groups and more;
  • Information and advice resources, ensuring that they are suitable for people with dementia, their carers and relatives;
  • Improved public knowledge around early stage dementia.

Why get an early diagnosis?

Around a third of people with dementia in Scotland have not been diagnosed. People who are concerned about their memory or thinking abilities should see a doctor without delay.  Many will learn that their symptoms are caused by something other than dementia, something that can perhaps be stabilised or even reversed.  If it is dementia, diagnosis is a vital first step to receiving support to manage the condition and for making plans to live well.

If more people with dementia are to get help at the earliest stage, it is important that everyone is aware of the signs and symptoms of dementia and how they can go about getting a diagnosis.  

Through training and awareness raising, and by providing information and advice, people can be informed about dementia signs and symptoms such as:

  • Short-term memory problems
  • Struggling to follow conversations
  • Forgetting the names of people you know or everyday objects
  • Difficulties with planning, reasoning and organising
  • Changes in mood and behaviour
  • Changes to sensory perception

Once someone has a diagnosis they can start to access the specialist support they are entitled to.

Dementia Awareness Workshops

We offer free dementia awareness workshops for Age Scotland’s members: older people's clubs and groups, and charities providing opportunities for and support to older people.

Our workshops typically last 90 minutes. Given longer we can explore dementia in greater depth, including training sessions of up to two and a half hours.  (If less time is available that's okay, but one hour is the minimum for a workshop to be worthwhile).

Dementia is a serious topic but that doesn't mean that learning about it can't be fun.  In fact learning that's enjoyable is more likely to be remembered.  That's why we've designed our workshops so that everyone can join in, and have fun.

A workshop leader, learning materials and equipment are provided.  Groups requesting a workshop are expected to provide a suitable venue and any catering participants may require.  If you are interested in booking a workshop contact us on ESDTeam@agescotland.org.uk or call 0333 32 32 400

Age Scotland is committed to becoming a dementia aware charity: all our employees and volunteers undertake our awareness training.

Dementia in the workplace

Our project identified that dementia is a growing workplace issue with more people being diagnosed with dementia while they are still in work.  Many employees are also juggling work with caring for a family member or a friend who has dementia.

You can read how best to support an employee who has a diagnosis in our Dementia in the Workplace guide or watch our video interview with Tomo, a visitor from Japan who is living and working with dementia here.

We also deliver dementia awareness training to workplaces or you can read our top tips for employers.

Read our top tips for Employers

Get in touch

Follow the work of the team on Twitter at @AgeScotlandESDTeam

For more information: If you have any questions about the project you can contact the team on ESDTeam@agescotland.org.uk or call 0333 32 32 400

Information and Advice

If someone does receive a dementia diagnosis they and their family will have questions, including about what support they will receive.

We have created guides to help answer some of these questions and to give you key information on issues surrounding a dementia diagnosis.

View our suite of free guides.

These publications complement our core publications which provide information and advice about care, benefits, housing and legal issues such as Power of Attorney

The Age Scotland free national helpline, provides information, friendship and advice to older people, their families and carers. People with dementia, and those helping to care for someone who has dementia, can get one-to-one advice on topics including Power of Attorney and welfare benefits. Call 0800 12 44 222.

Influencing Policy

Through our work to improve public knowledge, we have also submitted responses to the Scottish Government, you can read them here:

Download Age Scotland's Submission on National Dementia Strategy

Keep up to date with our work via our twitter @AgeScotlandESDTeam or through the Age Scotland blog

Support for groups and organisations

Looking to enhance what your group or service can do for older people affected by dementia?

We have teamed up with Age Scotland's Veterans' Project to offer free training days to groups and organisations to boost your confidence and capability for working with and supporting older people affected by dementia.

Find out more

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