What is Dementia?

The word ‘dementia’ refers to a group of symptoms that affect the brain (including recognition, memory, organisation and language), which get worse over time. Dementia is not a disease and not a natural part of aging. It is also usually not inherited.

Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia affect more than 850,000 people in the UK, most of them elderly. Here, we will explain the symptoms of dementia and why it is a good idea for your loved one to see their doctor if you or they are worried that they suffer from memory loss.

Image credit

While the chances of developing dementia increase with age, damage rate varies according to the type of dementia, as well as one’s physical makeup, emotional resilience and use of prescription drugs.

Spotting signs of dementia

One of the most frequently discussed dementia symptoms is memory lapse, the inability to recall things like names and words. But taken on their own, these do not always signal the start of dementia; they can also be the natural aging of the brain or other conditions.

For example, loss of concentration or withdrawal from people can be caused by anxiety or depression, and being confused can be side effects from taking different medication.

Dementia is a progressive condition, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse over time. This can make it difficult to see what is happening, or to know when to seek help. Each person will experience dementia in a different way.

Image credit

The deterioration rate of memory will differ, too, because of how a person is affected and what symptoms they have. Dementia commonly affects recent memories as opposed to things that occurred in the past. This happens as dementia affects the storage of new memories in the brain. For more information on Live in Carers, visit a site like https://www.liveincare.com/

Listed below are some of the common early signs of dementia:

Memory loss that affects day-to-day life

Often forget important dates, such as appointments or birthdays of relatives.

Ask for things or for more information even when they have received that thing or information.

Increased reliance on memory aids or support from a family member.

Forget what happened the day before.

Getting lost, or feel lost in a familiar environment.

Difficulty concentrating.

Issues following conversations or TV programs.

Planning and organizational difficulties

Trouble following instructions or dealing with numbers, like paying a bill.

Trouble completing tasks that were once familiar.

Losing track of time

Forget where they are.

Vision problems

Difficulty judging distance, colour or contrast.

Difficulty reading.

Problems with speaking or writing

Struggling with vocabulary, such as finding the right words.

Forgetting the names of family and friends, or everyday objects.

Misplacing objects

Increasingly poor judgment

Poor judgment around money, such as a registration for the promotion of sales of door-to-door when they would not normally do.

Lack of attention to personal care and hygiene.

Withdrawal from work or social activities

Pulling away from a hobby or sport.

Become less involved in social activities and / or family.

Being unable to participate in a favourite pastime for no apparent reason.

Changes in behaviour and personality

Confusion or paranoia

Become irritable.

Being aggressive.

All of these can be signs of other conditions, but if you see this change in the people you support, encourage them to visit their doctor.