Dementia is something that affects many people across the UK, and the number is only rising. By 2025, more than a million people will have been diagnosed with the condition.
But do you know how to support someone with Dementia? The types of dementia care available are rarely known by people until they are diagnosed.
So what do you need to know about dementia?
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are not the same
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often used interchangeably, but they are actually different things. ‘Dementia’ is a term used to describe a set of symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion. This can be cause by a series of strokes or a disease – like Alzheimer’s – affecting the brain and causing damage.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia but receiving a dementia diagnosis doesn’t always mean that you have Alzheimer’s.
Nearly 50% people with dementia go undiagnosed
Dementia Symptoms can often go unnoticed. Symptoms gradually worsen over time but early intervention can allow care and preparation for the future.
As Dementia is caused by damage to the brain, it can never be cured, but treatment can slow down the process.
It’s more than just memory loss
People often think that dementia is simply memory loss associated with old age. Some common symptoms are:
- Day-to-day memory loss
- Problems judging distances
- Problems concentrating or planning
- Sudden mood changes
- Difficulty keeping up with conversations or finding the right word
- Becoming confused about the day/date or about where they are
Sharing symptoms doesn’t mean you have dementia
Experiencing one or more of the above symptoms doesn’t mean you have dementia but it’s best to consult a doctor as it may be a sign of something else.
You’re not alone
It can be difficult discussing this topic with a loved one, especially if they have been experiencing changes in mood or dislike visiting the doctor. There are lots of charities like the Alzheimer’s Society that can help you talk to your relative about dementia and encourage them to see their GP.
Dementia doesn’t mean your life is over
Dementia care has come a long way in the past few years and there are a variety of treatment options available for those who want support. This involves medication to slow symptoms down, lifestyle changes and help or advice for family members.
People living with the condition can live active and independent lives for a long time but knowing the support and dementia care available to you can make the journey much easier.
How exercise helps dementia
Physical activity creates opportunity to socialise with others, and can help maintain a person’s independence. This is beneficial to both people with dementia and their carers. Engaging in physical activities can also improve self-esteem and mood, which in turn encourages more social engagement that may also contribute to wellbeing.
For more info visit: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/daily-living/exercise