Anyone in Whanganui concerned they're losing their memory now has a place to go; the Memory Clinic.
The Whanganui Memory Clinic in Otamatea was opened in May by Bobbie Bryce, who moved to Whanganui in 2014 after herself suffering from a stroke. She has a Master of Science in cognitive psychology and experience working in a memory clinic in Auckland.
She said the clinic was for people who have concerns they might be losing their memory or developing a type of dementia.
"They don't need a referral ... I'm very happy for someone just to give me a ring and say 'I've got a few concerns, can I come over and have a look?'
"I'm not scary, there's nothing to worry about and in fact if we do exercises and stuff it's quite fun."
Bryce said if the outlook is bad for a patient they would then be advised to visit their GP about it. She will also carry out a driving test and advise the client whether they should have concerns about getting behind the wheel.
But she's also been able to reassure people who were worried their memory was getting progressively worse. Bryce said some people have come in extremely worried about their memory and passed her tests with flying colours.
Her advice was to visit with a support person because memory loss can be a serious and shocking discovery.
"One of the hardest times for it is when you know you're losing your memory. You have the insight still to understand that you're not right and people would come to the GP initially saying 'I'm not right, I forget things, where I am ...'
"I had a client who had very advanced dementia and he was absolutely in denial. He'd lost his nouns. He couldn't name things ... he could hold a perfectly good conversation with you and he could cover it up beautifully."
She said she would typically see clients over the age of 60 and usually people who have had a stroke.
Bryce has also given talks at rest homes where she explains the basics of memory. Bryce said she was also happy to give classes to larger groups as well as one-on-one sessions at her clinic.
She'll talk at Jane Winstone Retirement Village next year in March.
The Whanganui Memory Clinic can be contacted at 06 348 9414.