Understanding DimentiaPeople with dementia should be supported to live fulfilled and positive lives and to reach their potential wherever they choose to live or during their journey through the health and social care system.

The need for excellence in care for people with dementia should be paramount for all practitioners. The changes experienced by people with dementia when entering a new environment, or the impact of ill health or a traumatic life event, can often manifest themselves in changes in behaviours or distress. 

Understanding the and recognising the consequences of dementia are crucial to how we treat people and manage the disease.

What is dementia?

Dementia describes a clinical syndrome in which the brain fails to function, it used to be called brain failure in the same way as people talk about heart failure, liver failure or kidney failure.

Symptoms can vary from person to person. some of these symptom may include:

  • Problem in cognition (largely memory lost but also language)
  • Problems with activities of daily living(an inability to care for oneself)
  • A cluster of emotion changes (psychological and psychiatric symptoms, and behaviours that can be challenging).
  • Decline in language abilities, this might include difficulty getting words out or understanding words. People may repeat commonly used word or phrases, make grammatical errors and forget the meaning of words
  • Difficulty recognising people or knowing what object are for.
  • Personality changes, this may include a lack of social awareness, loss sympathy and empathy, apathy and inappropriate behaviour.
  • Changes in food preference or over -eating.
  • Lack of personal awareness. People may fail to maintain their normal level of personal hygiene and grooming.

Dementia is a progressive condition, and the main causes are Alzheimer's disease (about 60 per cent) and vascular dementia (about 25 per cent) with the combination of two being common.Other less common causes includes lewy body dementia in which symptom of Parkinson's disease are present and frontal.

Diagnosis

Its is important to get the right diagnosis so that appropriate treatments and help can be given. if you worried about your health or someone else's you should talk to your GP.If your GP suspects dementia, they may refer you to memory clinic or another specialist clinic. 

You will asked about your symptoms and medical history and may have a physical check-up and memory test. They may also send you for other test including brain scans and blood tests. Together these tests will help to identify the problems in thinking and function and the likely cause.