What is dementia?
Dementia is a progressive disease affecting how the brain works and in particular the capability to remember, think and validate actions.
Dementia is not a disease itself but the name given to a group of symptoms that may accompany a number of diseases that affect the brain.
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Another is vascular dementia which can develop following a stroke or mini stroke or if there is blood vessel damage that interrupts the flow of blood to your brain. Other types of dementia include – dementia with Lewy bodies and front temporal dementia.
Dementia has nothing to do with growing old but the risk of dementia increases with age.
It is estimated that 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK, 773,502 were aged 65 and over.
Frequent symptoms of dementia
On the whole the symptoms that typify dementia come on gradually and get worse over time, often over a number of years.
Symptoms can differ according to the disease causing them and from person to person. They have an effect on your daily life, family and work.
Symptoms of dementia include:
- Difficulty to remember things that happened recently, even though you can easily remember things from longer ago.
- Struggling to follow conversations, principally in groups.
- Forgetting the names of individuals or things.
- Struggling to follow a story on television or in a book, or understand magazine and newspaper articles.
- Having difficulty remembering the day or date.
- Having trouble remembering where you put something, or where things are kept.
- Being unaware that you are repeating yourself or mixing words up.
- To do things you used to find easy.
- Feeling perplexed even in a familiar place.
- Having problems controlling your frame of mind, or controlling your emotions.
Both the person with dementia and those around them may not even notice the signs or take them seriously for quite some time.