Five things you should know about dementia
1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
We all forget a name or a face sometimes. Especially as we get older. But dementia is something different.
Memory problems are one of a number of symptoms that people with dementia may experience. Others include difficulties with planning, thinking things through, struggling to keep up with a conversation, and sometimes changes in mood or behaviour. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing and it doesn’t just affect older people. Over 40,000 people under 65 in the UK have dementia. This is called early-onset or young-onset dementia.
2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain
Diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease cause nerve cells to die, damaging the structure and chemistry of the brain.
There are lots of other causes and no two types of dementia are the same. In different types of dementia there is damage to different parts of the brain. Everyone experiences dementia in their own way. Lots of things can affect this, including the person’s attitude to their diagnosis and their physical health. Other factors include the relationships they have with friends and family, the treatment and support they get, and their surroundings.
3. It’s not just about losing your memory
When most people hear the word dementia, they think of memory loss.
And it does often start by affecting the short-term memory. Someone with dementia might repeat themselves and have problems recalling things that happened recently. But dementia can also affect the way people think, speak, perceive things, feel and behave.
4. People can still live well with dementia
Although there is no cure for dementia, scientists and researchers are working hard to find one.
Until that day comes, support and treatments are available that can help with symptoms and managing daily life. These can allow people with dementia to lead active, purposeful lives and carry on doing the things that matter to them most.
5. Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected by dementia
Providing expert information and support to anyone affected by dementia.
Call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22 if you’d like to talk to someone for information, support or advice.