How can I tell if I have dementia?

Becoming a bit more forgetful does not necessarily mean that you have dementia. Find out what the symptoms of dementia are and how you can get a diagnosis.

Many people notice that their thinking gets a bit slower or their memory becomes a bit less reliable as they get older – for example, they might occasionally forget a friend’s name. These symptoms can also be a sign of stress, depression or certain physical illnesses, rather than dementia.

What are the symptoms of dementia?

Some symptoms may point to dementia if you have become significantly more forgetful to the extent that it is affecting your daily life. This is especially true if you:

  • struggle to remember recent events, although you can easily recall things that happened in the past,
  • find it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV,
  • forget the names of friends or everyday objects,
  • struggle to recall things you have heard, seen or read recently,
  • regularly lose the thread of what you are saying,
  • leave objects in unusual places (eg keys in a bathroom cabinet),
  • have problems thinking and reasoning,
  • feel anxious, depressed or angry,
  • feel confused even when in a familiar environment or get lost on familiar journeys,
  • find that other people start to comment on your forgetfulness,
  • Is dementia inherited?
Dementia assessment process and tests

Find our more about how dementia is diagnosed by medical professionals.

Dementia assessments

What should I do if I am concerned about dementia?

Anyone who is worried that their memory is getting noticeably worse, or who has other symptoms such as those listed above, should discuss their concerns with the GP.

Further reading