If you or someone you know is worried about becoming increasingly forgetful, particularly if they're older than 65, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of dementia.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is not a single illness but describes a set of symptoms that may include the following:
- Memory loss e.g. the ability to remember past events much more easily than recent ones
- Difficulties with thinking, reasoning or problem solving
- Difficulties with communication (the person's own and also their ability to understand what others are saying to them/follow conversations)
- Difficulties with movement
- Difficulties with perception
- Changes in mood e.g. felling anxious, depressed or angry
- Changes in behaviour
- Feeling confused even when in a familiar environment
Dementia is caused by diseases which damage the brain e.g. Alzheimer's Disease. The specific symptoms a person will experience, depends on the areas of the brain that are damaged. Each person with dementia is unique and will experience it in their own individual way.
Read more about the signs of dementia.
Why is it useful to get a dementia diagnosis?
Having a thorough assessment is really important because it can:
- Rule out a range of other conditions that may have some similar symptoms and are treatable e.g. depression, anxiety, severe constipation, chest and urinary tract infections, thyroid and vitamin deficiencies etc.
- It provides an explanation for a person's experience.
- It opens the door to accessing advice and support (emotional, practical, legal and financial) and treatment.
It allows the person time to start to adjust, prepare and plan for the future.
Find out why it's important to see someone about suspected dementiaas soon as you can.