Online Clinics

Online clinic on dementia

The online clinic on dementia enabled people to get their questions on dementia, Alzheimer's disease and related conditions answered by expert doctors and nurses.

The clinic, hosted by talkhealth and supported by Dementia UK and the Alzheimer's Society, closed on July 24 2012 but you can read all of the questions and answers via the links below.

The experts

Dr Dan Nightingale - Consultant in dementia, learning disabilities and psychotherapy

Dr Nightingale is head of the Faculty of Dementia at the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy and specialist tutor at the National College. He is also a former director of care & dementia services at The Priory Group and CEO and founder of

In 2010, he reached the final shortlist of five for the Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Dementia award at the UK Dementia Care Awards.

Ian Weatherhead - Lead dementia nurse

Ian has over 30 years experience in mental health nursing. He trained in Leeds and spent his formative years as a hospital charge nurse in acute and forensic care. Ian became a lead nurse for NHS Highland in the mid 1990s and developed a multidisciplinary community mental health team serving a remote and rural area of north-west Scotland.

Ian became an admiral nurse in London in 2006. Admiral nurses are dementia care specialists, working primarily with families and carers of people diagnosed with dementia.

In July 2009, Ian became lead nurse for the national dementia helpline Admiral Nursing DIRECT, provided by the charity Dementia UK.

Lindsey Skelt - Occupational therapist

Lindsey has 25 years' experience as an occupational therapist and has worked in hospitals, residential and nursing homes and in the community during her career. In 2005 she and a colleague set up their own business, Shires Therapy, offering a range of occupational therapy services, including dealing with memory loss, training for care staff in homes and giving advice, assistance and support to individuals and families.

Lindsey believes many strategies can be used to help people with dementia-related problems and that with specialised care people can have a good quality of life and maintain wellbeing and independence.

Page last reviewed: 12/07/2014

Next review due: 12/07/2016


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The 2 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Zomirindranjely said on 13 February 2013

Dementia and Alzheimer are more or less the same. Alzheimer is specific and typic to Dementia. Elder people are the most victims.


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User697427 said on 13 July 2012

My husband and I have been caring for his mother for two and a half years. She is a physically fit 82-year old with vascular dementia, and lives in a flat adjacent to our house. Over about 6 years progress of her illness has been slow, mainly just getting more forgetful and repetitive but still enjoying pottering in the garden and arranging flowers. 2 years ago she was still preparing her own evening meal. By 6 months ago it was clear she was no longer eating properly and we were having to throw a lot of food away, so we started being more proactive about getting her up/breakfasted and taking in one or two meals a day, which she accepts more readily than any assistance preparing food in her own kitchen. Around that time we also became aware she was no longer bathing regularly or washing her hair. Now for the past couple of months she has been wetting the bed several nights a week.

Our problem is that since my mother in law believes she is still bathing and does not accept she is sometimes incontinent, she is very hostile to suggestions/help with regards to personal care. We usually have to resort to stealth to change the bed/remove laundry. We tried a professional carer for a morning visit hoping she would respond better to a "nurse" type in uniform, but the more insistent/business-like approach just got her extremely agitated. Within a few days the situation was so much worse we had to cancel that arrangement.

She does accept her own daughter persuading her into the bath (which now happens once a week when she visits from London). But we are concerned that the lack of regular bathing combined with the incontinence may put her at risk of urine/kidney infections. Any suggestions? She has virtually no short term memory now so even if she agrees to something it might be only for a minute!

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