Dementia is often in the news, whether to talk about the ways in which care staff are supporting those individuals through this disease or to discuss the ways in which it can affect people. There are numerous reasons as to why it might appearance that the news of dementia have been on a steady increase over the reason years, with the main reason being that we are living longer and as an ageing population these kinds of diseases seem to affect more people as they age, although it not exclusively an elderly persons condition. There has in fact been a 15% decline in cases being diagnosed each decade over the last 30 years. It is thought that is in part due to the knowledge that we have about the importance of cardiovascular health and the number of people that are looking for ways to stop smoking or change their smoking habits – these are two factors that can affect a person’s chances of developing a dementia related condition.
Research and funding into these conditions is helping to give us more information on how the diseases progress and ways in which we can support individuals to be independent for as long as possible. Dementia live in care is one such way that those living with dementia can remain in their own homes if this is their wish.
There are a number of key facts that it is important to be aware of:
- Dementia is an overarching term that encompasses a number of different diseases such as Alzheimers. Dementia itself is not a condition but a term used to categorise a number of similar diseases.
- It is not a normal part of ageing – dementia is not like getting wrinkles, in that it is not something that is inevitable with age. Forgetfulness can be a sign of ageing but this on its own is not a sign of a dementia condition. It is thought that around 40,000 people under the age of 65 have been diagnosed with dementia which goes some way to showing that this is not just an eldlerly person’s problem.
- It is not all about memory – Dementia conditions can affect a person in a number of different ways and memory loss is just one of them. It can also affect the way that they perceive the world, the ways they communicate, fine motor skills and movement and balance issues. The symptoms caused by dementia conditions do not affect everyone in the same way and not everyone will experience all of the symptoms.