Why getting a timely diagnosis of dementia can make a vital difference

Research into dementia has revealed that more than six in ten people live with the condition for a year before noticing their symptoms - because most feel what's happening to them is just a natural part of the ageing process.

Frances Isaacs, who lives near Brecon - was diagnosed with dementia for eight years ago.

"Suddenly all of things that are making you wonder why am I confused, why can't I recognise my own child, or objects on the table... suddenly it's explained" she says.

Frances continues to paint and runs a weekly online class

Frances' condition has affected both her memory and her balance. Despite the challenges it's brought, she still enjoys putting her considerable skills as a painter to use - running classes locally and online.

"The support that your partner or carer will get from the Alzheimer's Society and other sources is hugely important. What I go through my husband suffers many times worse than me" she says.

"Don't fear it. Get the help. It's all out there for you. Do what my husband did. Get that diagnosis and you will find the help is there for you."

Frances says support for partners and carers is vital

"Asking the same question over and over again is not called getting old, it’s called getting ill" says Cheryl James, from Alzheimer's Society Cymru.

"Yes, getting a diagnosis can be daunting, but it is worth it. More than nine in 10 people with dementia told us they benefited from getting a diagnosis – it gave them crucial access to treatment, care and support, and precious time to plan for the future."