Dementia is a very common problem among people over the age of 65, with 1 in 14 affected. As of 2015, there were around 850,000 people with the condition in the UK alone. We're raising dementia awareness by making sure you know what to look for if you’re concerned about a loved one – and how to help them.
Early signs of dementia
Dementia symptoms vary from person to person, but if you have noticed any of these symptoms of dementia it’s important to see a doctor:
- Memory loss: difficulty remembering things that happened recently
- Problems concentrating: trouble making decisions, organising things and carrying out tashs like cooking
- Language issues: not being able to follow conversations or find the right words for things
- Visuospatial skills: trouble judging distances, e.g. when walking down stairs
- Orientation: losing track of the day or forgetting where you are
- Mood swings: becoming upset, anxious or frustrated easily
Causes of dementia
There are several different types; it’s not a disease, it’s a group of symptoms that occur when the brain has been damaged by one of these conditions:
- Alzheimer’s Disease: this causes protein to build up in the brain and damage its structure, killing off brain cells.
- Vascular Dementia: caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, often after a stroke.
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies: also caused by clumps of protein (‘Lewy bodies’), which build up in parts of the brain that control thinking, visual perception and movement.
- Frontotemporal Dementia: build ups of protein accumulate in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, affecting language, behaviour and organisation.
- Mixed Dementia: this is when someone has multiple types of dementia, with various parts of their brain affected.
It’s easier to tell the different types apart in the early stages. As symptoms progress and the brain gets more damaged the different varieties become more similar. It’s possible to live independently for years after diagnosis but in the later stages patients need help to do everyday tasks and manage their lives.
Living with dementia
Coping with dementia can be difficult, particularly in the later stages. If you’re caring for someone with this condition, it can help to have some lifestyle aides around. Our favourite range is this Red Deluxe Tableware Set for Alzheimers
. It's a struggle to get sufferers to eat and drink enough. This is because it can become difficult for them to recognise food and understand when it’s time to eat or drink.
40% of sufferers experience significant weight loss and malnutrition. A study at Boston University found that red tableware helped patients to eat 24% more food and drink 85% more water than white tableware. So the red colour of this cutlery will help your loved one to concentrate on their meals.
Something else that can help with dementia are CareZips Incontinence Trousers
. Incontinence is common as sufferers may lose their ability to tell when they need to go, or simply forget. A pair of Carezips trousers will help you to change your loved one without having to lift them. Just unzip the three zips and you can help your loved one without causing them distress.
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