The prospect of a loved one having a diagnosis of dementia can be a daunting, if not terrifying prospect. It is estimated that 47.5 million people around the world are currently living with dementia, and although treatments are improving all the time, there is no cure.

The World Health Organization defines dementia as being of a Òchronic or progressive nature, caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday activities.Ó

Of course like most illnesses symptoms and severity will vary from person to person but here are some of the early signs.

Memory loss. Not being able to recall facts or events, especially from your short term memory, is a common first sign of dementia.

Difficulty performing common tasks. Does your loved one suddenly have trouble tying their shoes or making a cup of tea?

Impulsive behaviour. Suddenly making rash decisions and being uncharacteristically impulsive can be a sign.

Personality changes. A dramatic change in overall personality can also be a sign that the brain is not functioning as it should.

It is on the tip of my tongue. Those in the early stages of dementia can forget entire portions of their vocabulary and struggle to communicate

Constantly losing items. Where are the keys, the phone, the remote control? If common items are being constantly lost it is worth seeking help.

Melanie Meads, Founder of Q1Care has written a helpful booklet Dementia. It is a Family Matter to help families to cope with what to expect, what to do and identifies some places to go to for help.

The booklet covers more about the basics of what the signs and symptoms of dementia are and also what the treatment options can be and what to expect after diagnosis. Melanie says the booklet isnÕt a definitive guide or a medical book Ð it is a practical helping hand for families.

ÒA diagnosis of dementia is not the end, it is the beginning. It is the beginning of what can be a difficult journey however with proper planning, organization and help it can be a journey full of family, happy times and reflection. At Q1Care we have the experience, the skills and the commitment to support families and I hope the booklet will prove to be a useful resource for anyone affected by dementia.Ó

The booklet is completely free and is available by emailing Melanie Melanie.Meads@q1care.co.uk.