1. Dementia only affects the elderly
Dementia can affect anyone, regardless of your age. Dementia is caused by disease in your brain and is not only a part of ageing. Over 40,000 people in the UK who have dementia are actually under the age of 65. In some cases, people as young as 33 have been diagnosed with dementia.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of dementia, you need to make an appointment with your GP. We have written an article on what to do if you think you or your loved one may be developing dementia and where to go - you can read it here.
2. Alzheimer’s disease is the only type of dementia
Alzheimer's is not the only disease which cause nerve cells to die and damage the chemistry of the bran - there are lots of other causes.
Every case of dementia is different, and different types of dementia cause different damage to the brain. Other types of dementia include:
Dementia with Lewy bodies
Mixed dementia usually Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia
Different people experience dementia in different ways. Circumstances which can affect their experience can include physical health, mental health, lifestyle, attitude towards the disease, and their treatment.
3. All that happens during dementia is people lose their memory
This is probably the most common symptom people think about when they think of dementia - memory loss. But there are other symptoms of dementia which include:
Trouble in concentrating and planning
Difficulties in competing day to day tasks like cleaning, cooking, and getting ready
Difficulties in communicating like forgetting words and losing track of what they were saying
Difficulties with judging how far away things are
Erratic mood changes from happy to sad, angry, and agitated
Symptoms vary from person to person, and how quickly they progress also depends on their circumstances like where they live and their relationships with family and friends.
4. People cannot live with dementia
There is no cure for dementia. But researchers are working very hard to find one and progress has been made in the study of cure for this disease. With what we already know about dementia, we can help people with dementia lead a balanced life and carry on doing what they enjoy.
Some of the ways we can manage the symptoms of dementia are:
Sensory stimulation - read our blog post about sensory stimulation activities for people with dementia here
Keeping up with social activities like talking, attending specialist activity groups in the area, visiting family and friends, and reminiscing about their favourite times/events
Keeping as active as possible - you can read our blog post on dementia friendly chair based exercises here
Seeking medical help and using medicine to ease the symptoms - you must speak to a GP in order to find the right ones for you or your loved one
The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the more time we have to prepare ourselves and our loved ones ensuring their quality of life remains as high as possible.
5. There is nothing I can do to prevent dementia
There are ways you can prevent dementia in your life. Exercise, diet, and mental stimulation are all areas which you should focus on - not only to help prevent dementia but also other illnesses and diseases. Here are our tips on helping you make healthier choices:
Regular physical exercise - whether these are regular sessions at the gym or a brisk walk
Eat a healthy and balanced diet - this should include five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, omega-3 rich foods, reduce your sugar intake, and don't drink too much alcohol. This change may also help prevent other illnesses like diabetes, stroke, and cancer
Keep you mind busy and always learning whether this is doing a puzzle, learning a new language, studying new courses, or creative writing!
Keep social - spending time with people will help stimulate your mind
If you or your loved one has dementia, we can help. Our live-in carers are trained in dementia and will offer companionship as well as take care of the more complex needs. A live-in carer enables those with dementia to keep living an independent, active life whilst offering their family true peace of mind.
To talk to one of our friendly live-in care advisors about arranging live-in care for dementia, please call us on 0800 980 3958 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org