2nd July 2020

People experiencing memory problems in Wiltshire can still find help and support, says a Wiltshire charity.

Alzheimer’s Support says new referrals to its team of Dementia Advisers dropped by two-thirds during the coronavirus pandemic, with just 66 new cases referred during lockdown instead of the 200 expected.

The reduction came as people avoided going to their GPs with non-urgent symptoms, and as memory services scaled back while the NHS focused on fighting Covid-19.

CEO Babs Harris said: “New referrals dropped by 66 per cent between the middle of March and the end of June and we know there will be many families in Wiltshire who urgently need our support and advice. The early stages of dementia are a confusing and frightening time and being isolated at home can make people feel all the more unsettled.

“If you are worried about your memory, or that of a relative, please get in touch. You do not need to wait for a formal diagnosis to access our services and talking things through with someone who understands can make all the difference.

“Our office in Trowbridge is open every weekday between 10am and 2pm and we can give advice over the phone or, in some cases, come and see you at home.”

Online roadmap for dementia 

The charity also has an online Dementia Roadmap with advice and support for anyone going through the process of being diagnosed with dementia in Wiltshire. It includes a downloadable symptoms checker for people to use while waiting for a GP or memory clinic appointment. It leads to the Support Village where people can find practical services that can help. 

Help for people living with dementia

The charity is still supporting all its clients, with Home Support visits resuming in May, and music, singing and movement groups now being held online. Packs of art materials, seeds and cards are sent regularly to hundreds of community group and day club members, and charity staff were making more than 800 phone calls a week at the height of the pandemic. 

Coronavirus and dementia support in Wiltshire

For support for any aspect of living with dementia in Wiltshire call 01225 776481.