HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM DEMENTIA?
Dementia - Did you know....
- There are 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide.
- In the UK 850,000 people are living with dementia
- By 2025 the number is expected to rise to over million.
- Dementia is more prevalent in women than men with 62% of cases being female compared to 38% being male.
- Dementia is an umbrella term. It describes the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by certain diseases or conditions. There are many different types of dementia e.g. Alzheimer's.
Facts you may not know about Dementia
- Just because you are getting old does not mean you will get dementia. Of course the chances of getting dementia rise with age but that doesn't necessarily mean you will get it .
- Dementia affects people in different ways the symptoms are varied (see below). It is often more than just memory loss.
So how do you know if you may be experiencing Dementia symptoms?
The early stages are usually mild and many people assume it's just part of getting old. Don't ignore these symptoms, people often do .
Minor short-term memory changes
Memory loss can be an early symptom of dementia. It is often subtle problems with short-term memory e.g. where did I leave my keys or it maybe that sufferers can't remember why they entered a particular room.
Sufferers may be clearer about events from years ago than what happened that morning.
A change in mood is common with dementia.
This can be difficult for a sufferer to recognise in themselves, but is detected by people around them.
Sufferers may also experience personality shifts. A person may shift from being shy and quiet to loud and outgoing. All of these are difficult for the carer to deal with.
Difficulty finding the right words
A person with dementia may have difficulty finding the right words to express themselves. Of course, that can become distressing for them.
Having a conversation with them can be difficult as they will have problems finishing what they were talking about.
Simple tasks that were part of the normal routine become difficult to finish.
Along with the struggle to complete familiar tasks, they may find it harder to learn how to do new things or follow new routines.
Apathy or listlessness commonly occurs in early dementia.
A person with symptoms could lose interest in hobbies or activities, which can sometimes mean they seem emotionally flat and lose interest in spending time with friends and family.
Difficulty following storylines. This maybe in a conversation or on T.V.
A declining sense of direction
Your sense of direction and spatial orientation commonly starts to deteriorate with the onset of dementia.
Sufferers fail to recognise once-familiar landmarks and forget directions they knew. New instructions for a new or old product may be difficult to follow.
Memory loss and general behavioral changes that come with dementia can lead sufferers to repeat daily tasks, or repeat the same questions in a conversation after they’ve been answered.
It can also sometimes lead to the person obsessively collecting items.
All this may seem rather daunting but being aware of changing conditions is half the battle. For more information look at the Alzheimer's Society website.