Six signs to help you spot dementia
The most misleading fact about dementia is that it's a disease. It’s not. Rather, it's a collection of symptoms that can be caused by various diseases. Dementia symptoms include impairments in thinking, talking, and memory and can sometimes be hard to spot as they tend to develop over a period of time.
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Dementia can also be caused by brain damage from an injury or stroke, and from other diseases like Huntington's or Lewy Body Dementia.
If you or a loved one is over the age of 65 and becoming increasingly forgetful, the NHS advises that you seek medical advice.
Here's our guide on what to watch for:
- Suffering with memory loss. If someone has trouble recalling recent events, for example they forget messages, routes and names or they ask the same questions repetitively.
- Difficulty organising and planning tasks and activities.
- Increasingly confused especially when they're in new environments.
- Difficulty with figures or handling money for example paying for things when shopping.
- Struggling to find the correct words or sentence structure
- Suffering with mood swings. If someone is spending more time alone and doesn't go out or socialise or is struggling with depression.
If you suspect a loved one might have dementia seek medical help from your local GP.
You don't need to feel alone, there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and lots of charities and support groups are offering support including Dementia UK, Alzheimer's Research UK, and the Alzheimer's Society. They may be able to answer your questions about medication available and offer information or advice to support you if you are living with or caring for someone with dementia.