Dementia is a loss of cognitive function associated with a number of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Huntington’s Disease and Traumatic Brain Injury. People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of everyday items such as their keys or wallet, paying bills, grocery shopping or cleaning the house. While it is not a normal part of aging, it mainly affects older people.
There are an estimated 50 million people living with dementia worldwide. There are many causes. Some are reversible and some are progressive. The earlier it is diagnosed, the more it can improve your quality of life. Some conditions can be very progressive. This means you might not notice symptoms right away because they start out slowly and gradually get worse. It may be hard to notice the difference between old age memory loss, and dementia.
Dementia is not a disease. It is a term that describes symptoms associated with declining memory. It is also a term used when a person’s thinking skills are severe enough to reduce the ability to perform everyday activities. Being diagnosed is often a frightening experience.
Personality changes – a sudden change in personality or mood
Loss of ability to do everyday tasks – such as go grocery shopping or laundry
Withdrawal or depression – noticing sadness or lack of excitement for anything
Concentration – not able to focus on a task or conversation
Disorientation – not knowing where they are or the time
Problems with language – not being able to find the right words or form sentences
Vision changes – difficulties with visual perception