Published: 05/06/2024

Dementia affects memory, thinking, and social abilities enough to interfere with daily life. It’s not a single disease but a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions

What Causes Dementia?

There are several types of dementia, each with different causes. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60-80% of cases. Other types include vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. In some cases, dementia can result from a mix of these types.

Symptoms to Watch Out For...

Dementia affects each person differently, but common signs include:

  • Memory loss: This is often one of the first signs. People might forget recent events or important dates, and ask the same questions repeatedly.

  • Difficulty planning or solving problems: People may find it hard to follow a plan, like a recipe, or work with numbers.

  • Confusion with time or place: Losing track of dates, seasons, and time is common. Sometimes people can forget where they are or how they got there.

  • Problems with words: This can include trouble following or joining a conversation, or struggling with vocabulary.

  • Poor judgement: Changes in judgement or decision-making can occur, such as giving away large sums of money or neglecting personal care.

Diagnosing Dementia

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of dementia, it's important to see a doctor. Diagnosis usually involves a combination of medical history, physical exams, neurological tests, and brain scans. Early diagnosis can help manage symptoms and plan for the future.

Living with Dementia

Living with dementia can be challenging, both for the person affected and their loved ones. Here are some tips that might help:

  • Stay active: Physical activity, like walking or swimming, can help improve mood and overall health.

  • Healthy eating: A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is important.

  • Mental stimulation: Activities like puzzles, reading, or learning something new can help keep the brain engaged.

  • Social interaction: Staying connected with friends and family is crucial. Social activities can improve mood and reduce feelings of isolation.

Supporting a Loved One with Dementia

Caring for someone with dementia can be tough, but there are ways to make it easier:

  • Be patient and understanding: Try to stay calm and offer reassurance.

  • Create a safe environment: Remove hazards and make sure the home is safe.

  • Establish routines: Consistency can help reduce confusion and anxiety.

  • Seek support: Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Support groups and respite care can provide relief.

While there is currently no cure for dementia, research is ongoing. Scientists are working hard to better understand the disease and find new treatments. In the meantime, early diagnosis and supportive care can make a significant difference.

Remember, if you notice any signs of dementia in yourself or a loved one, talk to a doctor.