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Having problems with memory and difficulty thinking clearly

What's Normal, What's Not, and When to Seek Help

Memory and ageing

Age-Related Memory Loss

Forgetfulness is a common complaint among older adults. You start to talk about a movie you saw recently when you realize you can’t remember the title. You’re giving directions to your house when you suddenly blank on a familiar street name. You find yourself standing in the middle of the kitchen wondering what you went in there for.

Memory lapses can be frustrating, but most of the time they aren’t cause for concern. Age-related memory changes are not the same thing as dementia....Read more

If you are concerned that things are not right with you or someone close to you, make an appointment and your GP can assess you. Dementia is not the only cause of these difficulties. Age related memory loss is very common. Sometimes stress, depression or anxiety can cause similar symptoms. 

When you see the GP they will assess your memory and check you for physical or other mental health problems that could be causing the symptoms. This will include blood tests to check for previously undiagnosed issues like thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, anaemia, kidney or liver disease and diabetes all of which can have an affect on brain function. Treating or correcting any of these problems can improve symptoms. 

If you and your GP remain concerned you can be referred to our local memory service

The Memory Assessment Service (MAS)

Following referral your memory will be more formally tested and if concerns remain you will be referred for a CT scan of the brain. 

Once the scan has been carried out a follow up appointment will be made where results are given and if possible a diagnosis and a plan will be made.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition in which someone has minor problems with cognition - their mental abilities such as memory or thinking. In MCI these difficulties are worse than would normally be expected for a healthy person of their age. However, the symptoms are not severe enough to interfere significantly with daily life, and so are not defined as dementia.....Read more


The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.

Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes....Read more

If you or your loved one is diagnosed with a dementia they will be contacted by a Dementia Advisor from the Alzheimer’s Society.

You may see them straight after your MAS appointment or the Dementia Advisor will contact you as soon as possible afterwards.

You will also be assigned a Dementia Support Worker by the Alzheimer's Society, who will provide support to any carers or relatives involved with you.

MAS also run an extensive group programme with talks eg Understanding Dementia, open to both the patient and their carer. 

Groups like the Cognitive Stimulation Group and Living Well With Dementia group, are available for the person with dementia.

Medication may be offered, the Memory Assessment Service doctor or Nurse Prescriber will provide you with a three month prescription and you will be reviewed during that period.

Once you are stabilised on your medication you will be discharged back to the care of your GP. 

Later if you or your loved one needs further support from specialist dementia services your GP can reassess and refer you back.

To access Social Care and Support contact WSCC Adults Care Point on Tel: 01243 642121

You can also contact the Adult Care Point if you have concerns that a vulnerable adult is at risk and needs safeguarding. 

Visit WSCC Connect to Support for One Stop Shop for care and support


Forget-Me-Knot Selsey's Dementia-Friendly Community Project

The Forget-Me-Knot Project is a guide to local support networks in Selsey and statutory groups in the area. Whether you have just received a diagnosis of dementia or if you care for someone with dementia-this guide may help make your journey a little easier. If you would like to know more about this project you can email Karen Pirks at

You are very welcome to drop into the Selsey Information Exchange in Penny Lane, High Street, Selsey to get further advice and sign posting to other local support groups and activities. 

Do you like a chat on the Phone? So does the 'Good Morning Selsey' service offered by Selsey Community Watch. They can give you a call every morning if you like to offer a friendly voice and a chance for a chat. This free service has been operating for 3 years. 

To find out more and get this service call: 01243 201616

Or email: or visit the Selsey Information Exchange. 

Selsey Community Watch: 01243 201616

Selsey Community Watch brings together professionals and volunteers to provide support, a daily phone call, activities, home visits as well as befriending for those in need. 

You can also ask about the Forget-Me-Knot sessions for people with dementia and support groups for carers of people with dementia.

Senior Sesley News is a monthly publication which keeps you up to date with lots of local activities.

Selsey Community Watch has a welcome pack that has a list of all the local organisations in Selsey including lunch clubs, meal services, church groups, local library projects and services for people with memory issues. 

Selsey Works Tel: 01243 200975, email: can give advice and support with applying for entitlements such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Blue Badge, Pension Credit, Council Tax Reduction, Radar Key. 

Carer's Support Selsey Tel: 01243 601039 offers support for carers with advice, information and opportunities to network. Cross Roads Care supports and enables people to attend social events. 

Alzheimer's Society Tel: 0330 333 0804, email they provide info factsheets and books about dementia. 


Are you over 18 and looking after family or friends who are ill, frail or have another health concern? Do you feel the caring role is impacting on your own health and well being? 

The Carers Health Team can offer professional support and guidance to maintain your own health and wellbeing. The team can visit you at home and check your general health and wellbeing. The service is provided by Sussex Community Foundation Trust.

Contact The Carers Health Team on Tel: 01243 623521 or email: 

Carer's Support West Sussex Tel: 0300 028 8888 Offers a full telephone assessment of the carer's needs then advises on available local groups and support. 

Coastal West Sussex MIND Tel 01903 721893 or email at is an organisation offering support to people with all kinds of issues with their mental health.

Click this link to Chichester Careline Telephone 01243 778688 for advice on safety adaptations to the home for peace of mind. 

Dementia Crisis

If you or your family are experiencing a crisis because of dementia and need help, phone-

  • Selsey Medical Practice 8am till 6.30pm on 01243 608201
  • 111 outside those hours
Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website