The assessment of people at risk of dementia should be a supportive and informative experience.

When you attend the Memory Assessment Service they will complete some assessments with you to allow them to make a diagnosis of dementia. These questions will seek to understand you as a person and not just your memory or cognitive function. They may ask about different aspects of your life to understand the problems you face and how they affect you. They will also ask to speak with a member of your family to provide more information.


For extra information, evidence and best practice please scroll down to the bottom of the page.



Assessment and care planning are processes that are informed not only by published research and clinical expertise, but also by the possibilities that emerge in the moment, during authentic human encounters with individuals living with dementia and their families. Person-centered assessment must therefore incorporate openness to the experience and relationship unfolding in the present moment.

For more information from an article written by Molony et al (2018) in The Gerontologist on person centred assessment and care planning see here

Best Practice Resources

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (2020) have a comprehensive list of standards for memory assessment services in their document titled Memory Services National Accreditation Programme which you can access here

We have highlighted a small number of these standards here which we think are of particular relevance to this recommendation:

  • Patients receive a comprehensive, evidence-based assessment which includes their:
    • Mental health and medication
    • Psychosocial and psychological needs
    • Strengths and areas for development
    • Suicide risk
  • Patients receive a cognitive assessment and mental state examination.
  • The assessment includes an interview with someone who knows the patient well, where available.

We have a number of resources on the Dementia United website that support person centred planning under the Dementia Wellbeing plan programme of work. You can access these resources here

The resources available include the following;

  • The Dementia Wellbeing plan document itself and other resources to support you downloading and using the plan. The Dementia Wellbeing plan can be downloaded and completed by someone living with dementia, family and carers as well as by health and care staff
  • There is information on what personalisation means for you and resources to support you receiving person centred care
  • There is information on Mental Capacity and what this means for you and your family, friends and carers
  • Importance of getting involved in research
  • Information and support for carers
  • Forward planning when someone is diagnosed with dementia: and for families and friends too
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