Dementia is a term for a set of conditions affecting the brain. Dementia damages the cells in the brain so messages can't be sent from and to the brain in an effective way - this prevents the body from functioning as it normally would do. Some of the reasons why we develop dementia can be through disease like Alzheimer's; a series of strokes; or an injury. Each person will experience dementia in their own unique way.
There are currently 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia. A person can develop dementia at any point in their life, but it is more common in the elderly. The most common types of dementia are:
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Vascular dementia
- Dementia with Lewy bodies
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Mixed dementia
The signs of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Increasing difficulty with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning
- Changes in personality and mood
- Periods of mental confusion
- Difficulty finding the right words or not being able to understand conversations as easily (NHS)
If you think your loved one is developing dementia, the first step is to take them to see a GP. If the diagnosis is confirmed, there are charities in the UK which help to support people with dementia:
It's important to keep the mind stimulated - this can be done by keeping social by joining local dementia support groups. We have also written a blog post with ideas for activities which help stimulate the mind of people living with Alzheimer's and dementia - read it here.
Sometimes people with dementia require support with daily activities; reminders to take medication; someone to accompany them on walks or to see to see friends and family. Having a live-in carer can provide peace of mind for the whole family, knowing your relative is safe in their own home. If you think your loved one could benefit from having a live-in carer, please call 0800 980 3958 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our friendly team to arrange live-in care.