What is dementia?

Dementia is the collective name for the symptoms of a progressive decline of brain function, these include…

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • vascular dementia
  • mixed dementia
  • Lewy Body dementia

The progression of the disease is different from person to person and it tends to occur in later life (over age 65) but it can occur sooner when aged 40-65; this is known as early onset dementia.

It can be extremely tough for sufferers and for those close to them as sufferers can feel like they’re loosing themselves.

What are the symptoms of dementia?

It begins with bouts of forgetfulness; small things like forgetting where you put you put something or recent conversations. This will progressively worsen and the following symptoms may develop:

  • Confusion
  • Getting lost somewhere you know
  • Changes in personality (e.g. becoming aggressive)
  • Low mood and anxiety
  • Delusions and seeing or hearing things
  • Increased agitation
  • Difficulties in decision making

Often suffers will not recognise the symptoms or be reluctant to acknowledge them. As such getting help is often driven by those close to sufferers, rather than the sufferers themselves.

What therapies can help dementia?

Whilst we can’t diagnose neuropsychological disorders, a neuropsychological assessment will help you to identify the areas that you are struggling with and help you to devise a plan that enables you to overcome or manage these difficulties more effectively.

Many individuals and families also find it helpful to engage in therapies that can help sufferers and those close to them come to terms with the changes that dementia and related diseases can bring and help them to adjust.

Related Issues
Useful links

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/alzheimers-disease/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/about/

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/

https://www1.bps.org.uk/system/files/user-files/DCP%20Faculty%20for%20the%20Psychology%20of%20Older%20People%20(FPoP)/public/a_guide_to_psychosocial_interventions_in_dementia.pdf