What is dementia?

‘Dementia’ is a term for a range of diseases that affect the brain. The most common is Alzheimer’s Disease, but there are many others.

These diseases can cause:

  • loss of memory
  • difficulties with language and problem-solving
  • changes in mood or behaviour

These can be severe enough to interfere with daily life, but not everyone with memory loss has dementia. Your risk of getting some types of dementia reduces if you adopt a healthier lifestyle and keep as fit and active as possible.

Not everyone who is getting older will develop dementia, but 1 in 3 families will know a family member with dementia at some point.

Finding out you have dementia is a life-changing event. It is important for you, your family and others to know more about the condition, about the support that is available, how you can lead as full a life as possible, and how to prepare for the future.

It’s important for anyone who is getting older and worried about the loss of mental abilities or forgetfulness to consult their GP first. Your GP will rule out and treat any other causes.

We know that people living with dementia can live well for many years if it is diagnosed early and if those affected are provided with the right treatment and support.

Please remember:

  • dementia is not a natural part of getting old
  • dementia is caused by diseases of the brain
  • dementia is not just about losing your memory
  • life does not stop when you have dementia – keep living well
  • there’s more to the person than the dementia

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Help and support services

If you need advice, help and support on living with dementia for yourself, a friend or a family member, or simply to find out more, visit the Alzheimer’s Society website (external link).

Some other useful contacts:

Locally based teams of carer support volunteers will work with carers to increase their access to the local community and sources of support.

For further information or to find out more:

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Memory Service

If you or someone you care about is becoming confused or forgetful all the time, you should make an appointment with your GP, who can refer you to the Memory Service (external link).

This is a community-based service offering assessment, treatment and support for:

  • people aged over 65 who are experiencing memory difficulties for the first time
  • those of any age with an existing dementia diagnosis

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Dementia Friendly Haringey

Dementia Friendly HaringeyDo you want to learn more about dementia and the small ways you can help raise awareness?

Become a Dementia Friend, a member of the UK’s biggest ever initiative to help change people's perceptions and increase your knowledge of the condition. Over 3,000,000 people have become Dementia Friends.

You can arrange to attend a local face-to-face or virtual session or watch the online video. To learn more, visit the Dementia friends website (external link).

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The Haynes Centre dementia hub

The Haynes Centre is a specialist dementia hub that provides different levels of support to those diagnosed with dementia.

  • The day service provision is offered via social worker referrals to adults with a moderate or severe dementia diagnosis. If you do not currently have a social worker, ask for a needs assessment.
  • The Day Opportunities Hub is open to everyone with a dementia diagnosis, including those who can support themselves and those who need to bring someone to support them, such as a personal assistant or a family member. The Hub offers preventative and delaying activities. You can access the hub yourself or by family, GP or social worker referral. This is offered on a pay-as-you-go basis.
  • The Information hub is open to everyone in Haringey seeking a support network, information and guidance around dementia.

The centre also supports the Haynes Relatives Support Group, which holds a monthly meeting for carers of people who go to the Haynes. We also host the monthly Tom’s Club, which aims to provide a supportive and social environment for carers of people with dementia who are not accessing the Haynes centre, as well as current users.

Haynes Centre address:

  • The Haynes Dementia Hub
    151 Park Road
    N8 8JD

Telephone numbers:

  • General enquiries: 020 8489 5895
  • Key workers and hub bookings: 020 8489 5925
  • Referrals: 020 8489 5927
  • Email:

AccessAble - click for accessibility information (external link)

View accessibility information for this location on AccessAble (external link)

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Singing for the Brain

Singing for the Brain is a fun and social activity for people with dementia. You can also attend with a friend, family member or carer. There is a warm-up activity involving easy stretching exercises, some light arm and leg and hand warm-ups. People with mobility problems do not need to take part in the warm-up exercises if they prefer not to.

Thursdays 2pm to 4 pm

The Transmitter Hall, Alexandra Palace N22 7AY

These sessions are free, and refreshments are also provided. Contact the Alzheimer’s Society, Haringey (external link) for information on location, term start and end dates: 

Telephone 0203 725 3001


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Other community support services

You can search on Haricare for local community services to help people with dementia and their carers. These include:

  • Specialist home care services
  • Care homes
  • Day opportunities

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Page last updated:

February 1, 2024