We have all heard about the devastating effects dementia can have on a person and their loved ones. So how do we spot the early signs of dementia and what do we do if we suspect a family member might have it?
Dementia is often mistaken for a disease; however, it is a group of sign and symptoms that effect the brain. The human brain is made up of nerve cells that communicate with each other by sending messages. Dementia damages these neurones which stops the messages being sent effectively and stops the body from functioning as it normally would. Dementia affects people in different ways, each person that has dementia will experience it in a different way.
For those of us that are new to the term dementia and looking to find more information it is important to understand that it is an umbrella term for over 200 subtypes of dementia. The 5 most common types are Alzheimers, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia and mixed dementia, each quite different to the next.
At the moment around 850000 people in the UK have dementia, this is expected to reach to over one million by 2025. Although dementia can and does affect people of any age it is most commonly diagnosed in people aged 65 or over, if they are younger than this they are said to have young onset dementia.
Sometimes the early symptoms and signs of dementia can be very subtle and not obvious straight away, they can also vary greatly from person to person, however there are some common early signs that we can all look out for.
Early symptoms of dementia include:
A reduction in concentration levels
Difficulty with memory, particularly remembering recent events
Slight changes in behaviour and personality
Withdrawal or mood changes
Poor spatial skills
Loss of initiative
If you recognise two or more of the signs on the above list, please make sure you consult your doctor and complete an assessment. It is important to not assume someone has dementia based on symptoms as there are many conditions that also have very similar signs and symptoms. Always speak to your doctor to receive a diagnosis and information on managing dementia.
Lease of Life Home Care provide specialist care services for people with dementia and to help keep your loved ones in their own homes. This home care service provides both the practical and emotional support that they need. Call us today to find out more about how we can help keep your loved one happy and healthy in their own home.