Dementia is a term that is used to describe a range of conditions that affect the brain in particular the ability to remember, think and reason.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for around two thirds of cases in the elderly.
Another is vascular dementia which can develop following a stroke or where there has been damage to a blood vessel in the brain interrupting the normal blood supply.
No single cause has been identified as to why people get dementia, but it is thought to be a mixture of age, genetic inheritance, environmental factors, diet and health conditions.
These may include:
- loss of memory
- poor judgement
- unwillingness to make decisions
- agitation or distress over perceived changes; and
- inability to manage everyday tasks.
If you're concerned, it is important to get an early diagnosis, so that treatment can begin as soon as possible, which may reduce the speed and intensity of the symptoms getting worse.
There is help available for both the person living with dementia and their family. If you're concerned, contact your GP and request a full medical assessment.
If you're struggling to care for someone who has dementia and think that you might benefit from help and support at home, there are a number of different organisations that can help.
If you need more information about dementia and how to get support, you can contact the Adult First Contact Team.
First Contact Team
Email: adult first contact team
Telephone: 020 8583 3100