HAMPSHIRE doctors are urging people to come forward if they suspect they have signs of dementia.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust wants anyone concerned about the condition to speak to their GP as early diagnosis can help people stay in control and independent for longer.

Trust staff estimate the number of people living with dementia will double nationwide over the next 30 years, and increase by 60 per cent in Hampshire by 2025.

Dr Paul Hopper, a consultant in old age psychiatry from Southern Health, said: 'Early diagnosis of dementia is important as it enables you to manage your symptoms better and remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.'

“It also gives you more time to plan for the future, and helps those around you to provide the best support and cope better themselves.”

Early signs of dementia include forgetting the names of people or everyday objects, struggling to remember recent events, having problems reasoning and feeling confused in familiar environments.

Southern Health has signed up to the National Dementia Declaration pledging to make its buildings dementia friendly, providing liaison services to acute hospitals and providing more holistic services.