In this article we’re focussing on some of the lesser known information about dementia.

Most people know that dementia affects a person's memory but here we discuss some of the lesser known symptoms

Introduction: Dementia is not a single disease but rather a collective term used to describe a range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, reasoning, or other thinking skills. It’s not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and most people with it are 65 and older. Earlier this year a 19 year old man from China was diagnosed as the youngest person in the world to have ‘probable dementia’.

The different types and stages: Dementia can be broken down into several different types, each with its own set of symptoms and progression. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common, followed by vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke. Others include Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and mixed dementia, which is a combination of two or more types.
Progression of dementia also varies. For some people, dementia progresses rapidly, while for others, it takes several years. In general, dementia is divided into three stages: mild (early stage), moderate (middle stage), and severe (late stage). Each stage is characterized by a set of symptoms that progressively worsens over time.

Lesser known symptoms: While memory loss is the most well known symptom of dementia, there are several lesser known symptoms that can be just as disruptive or even more so. These include: rapid changes in mood or personality, difficulty with visual or spatial awareness and depth perception, noise sensitivity, changes in smell or taste (people sometimes start liking foods they never used to and vice versa), problems with language and communication, movement problems which can result in an increased number of trips and falls or changes in how a person walks, hallucinations or delusions (including auditory hallucinations like hearing voices) and problems with vision.

The saying ‘once you’ve met one person with dementia, you’ve met one person with dementia’ is very true. We’re all individuals and the physical changes and deterioration that occurs in the different parts of the brain will effect our personality and wellbeing in a huge variety of ways.

Understanding these lesser known symptoms can help to identify dementia in its early stages, which can lead to more effective treatment and management of the illness. It also helps us provide better support and care for people with dementia, by recognising and understanding the depth of their daily challenges.

Please contact the team at the Oldham & Saddleworth office to discuss any potential care needs, for yourself or loved ones living with dementia.