Dementia Friendly Pharmacies

A comprehensive collection of information and resources to help you provide the highest level of care to people living with dementia, as well as ensuring the 'carers' and families who are looking after them receive the support they need

Dementia is not a single condition but a set of symptoms that includes memory loss, mood changes and difficulty communicating and reasoning. Symptoms worsen over time, but this can vary by person depending on the underlying cause, their overall health and their personal circumstances.

Although dementia is more common in people that are older, it is not a natural consequence of ageing but is due to diseases of the brain.

Dementia is a growing issue. Pharmacy is at the heart of the community and is the touchpoint for many people who are ageing and likely to develop dementia. Pharmacy is therefore ideally placed to help identify people with dementia as well as support them and their carers. Pharmacy teams can help spot the regulars who come in and who are not themselves, with behaviour that is out of character, or who are more aggressive, more confused or coming in more. The team are effectively the eyes of the community, seeing what is going on and bringing it to the attention of the pharmacist.

The signs and symptoms pharmacy staff can watch out for include:

  • Struggling to remember recent events, but easily recalling things from the past
  • Finding it hard to follow conversations or TV programmes
  • Forgetting the names of friends or everyday objects
  • Forgetting themselves and losing the thread of what they were saying lProblems with thinking and reasoning
  • Confusion, even when in a familiar environment
  • A reduced ability to talk, read or write
  • Other people noticing their forgetfulness
  • Feeling angry, depressed or anxious about their forgetfulness.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and exhibition of one or more of these signs does not necessarily mean a person has dementia. It is however good to take action and raise a concern, as the earlier an intervention is made, then the better the prognosis is for the person concerned. It also enables assessment for provision of support and help being instigated where appropriate.

Resources & Contacts by locality - Signposting, Support Groups, Local activities and other 'whats good to know' information