Advice and Support
There are an estimated 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. By 2040, the number of people with the condition is expected to double. Dementia mainly affects people over the age of 65 and the likelihood of developing dementia increases significantly with age.
This is having a significant impact on the people who care for them and the economy, with there being around 540,000 carers of people with dementia in England. It is estimated that one in three people will care for a person with dementia in their lifetime.
One of the priorities identified in the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020, is for “people with dementia being able to live in their own home independently for longer”.
Organising extra support and care can be extremely beneficial for those living with dementia and their carers, and can enable people to stay together at home for as long as possible.
What is dementia?
The word ‘dementia’ can be defined as a group of symptoms including memory loss, difficulties with thinking and problem-solving, issues affecting speech and often changes in mood, perception or behaviour. These changes are usually small to start with, but for someone with dementia they can start to have a negative effect on daily life. Dementia isn’t a natural part of ageing but occurs when the brain is affected by a disease.
There are many types of dementia, however, the most common are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
What are the symptoms?
Individuals experience dementia in different ways but most people will experience some of the symptoms detailed below:
- Memory loss
– short term memory
– long term memory
- Irrational thinking and planning
– Lack of concentration
– Sequencing steps
- Language issues
– Difficulty finding the right word
– Struggling to follow a conversation
- Visual perceptual difficulties
– Judging distance
– Perceiving patterns or colour changes
There are a number of places you can access support and advice from, including your GP or the local memory clinic if you are worried about someone with dementia or have concerns for a carer.