Do you really know what Dementia is?

Spend Time With Your Loved One. Spend Time With Your Loved One.

Dementia is a word that most people have heard, but do they know what it actually is? People associate dementia with memory loss as you get older but it is a lot more than that, it is in fact a syndrome that is associated with the ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities which can include; memory loss, mental ability, use of language, understanding and judgment. Home Instead Senior Care Telford Newport and Bridgnorth are passionate about providing people who suffer from Dementia the right support, so we have put together some information to raise awareness of what Dementia really is. People who suffer from the disease may struggle on a daily basis to make decisions and complete tasks and require support from friends and family. Dementia usually progresses slowly, so making an accurate diagnosis in the early stages can be difficult and several visits to a professional over a period of time may be needed. It is important to get an early diagnosis to eliminate any conditions that can cause dementia like symptoms such as depression, to discuss the right treatment and support that is available and allow the patient to have an active part in the planning of their future. People may ask what is the difference between dementia and just plain old age, well this can fall down to the symptoms that can include; increasing difficulty with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning, a change in their personality and mood, periods of confusion and a difficulty in finding the right words to express what they want to say. To get all scientific, dementia is usually caused by degeneration in the cerebral cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for thoughts, memories, actions and personality. The death of brain cells on this region leads to the cognitive impairments that characterise dementia.

Dementia is a broad term and refers to brain syndromes that result in problems with memory, judgment and communication. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which accounts for 50 to 70% of all dementia cases. It is a degenerative brain disease that gradually destroys a person’s memory, the ability to reason, make judgments and carry out daily tasks such as washing, dressing and eating, and as it progresses individuals may experience changes to their personality and behaviour. It is a slow and progressive disease that can be divided into stages, but each individual’s progression with the disease will vary.

If you or your loved one has recently been diagnosed with Dementia, you might be hit with a range of emotions such as denial, anger, fear, frustration and even sadness, these are normal. There are some ways to help manage the disease in a way which is beneficial to both you and your family;

-        Take care of your health through regular exercise, a healthy diet and regular check ups with your GP.

-        Join a dementia support group as this can allow both yourself and your Caregiver to meet people in the same situation and can learn more about the disease.

-        Keep the lines of communication open with friends and family and continue to share your feelings, everyone wants to help so don’t be afraid to ask!

A diagnosis of dementia does not mean that life is over, yes there will be challenges ahead but planning and preparing for them in advance will benefit everyone in the long run!

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home