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Dementia Awareness

dementia awareness

About Dementia

Dementia is a common problem, usually occurring in people over the age of 65 years. Dementia in itself is not a disease, but is a collection of symptoms caused by certain conditions.

Symptoms

Dementia has numerous symptoms associated with a decline in brain function, including

• memory loss
• thinking speed
• mental agility
• language
• understanding
• judgement

Other symptoms can include:

• difficulties with concentration
• depression
• personality and mood changes
• confusion
• difficulty finding the right words

dementia awareness, doctor

Diagnosis

An early diagnosis helps with getting the right treatment and to plan for the future. In diagnosing dementia, a GP will conduct a series of tests, such as a physical examination, blood test and memory tasks. The doctor may also ask about any medications being taken, as some can cause symptoms that mimic dementia.

If the doctor is unsure of the diagnosis, referral to a specialist is the next step, where further tests will be undertaken, such as a brain scan.

Living with Dementia

Those diagnosed with dementia should still aim to live as independently as they can and carry out their usual activities.

Activities for Dementia

An active social life is essential for the wellbeing of those with dementia. The types of activities beneficial to those with dementia include:

• Arts and crafts
• Sensory activities
• Gentle exercise, such as gym classes for older people
• Meeting with friends/support groups

The Elderly Activities website provides lots of ideas for keeping active.

dementia, couple doing jigsaw

Care and support

Over time, help may be needed to care for those with dementia. The NHS, Social Services and voluntary organisations can provide helpful advice and support. Please see  links below for a number of useful websites.

https://www.dementiauk.org
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk
https://carers.org
https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk