All about Dementia

17-05-2021

Today is the start of our Dementia Friends Charity Week - raising awareness and understanding of dementia. Any funds we raise throughout the week will support Dementia Friends, but it will also support services for those affected by dementia. They include funding vital research into the care and cure of dementia and help continue the fight for the rights of everyone affected by dementia through Alzheimer's Society.

Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer's Society programme, which is the biggest ever initiative to change people's perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.


What is Dementia?

Dementia is a broad term used to describe several different conditions affecting the brain, including vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and many more, including the most common, Alzheimer's.

Different types of dementia affect the brain at a different rate and in different ways. However, other factors like someone's personal circumstances, the people around them and the environment in which they live will affect their experience of dementia.


What are the symptoms of dementia?

The word 'dementia' describes a set of symptoms that may include problems with:

  • memory loss
  • understanding
  • judgment
  • mood
  • movement
  • difficulties doing daily activities
  • thinking speed
  • mental sharpness and problem-solving
  • communication problems
  • sight and hearing loss
  • sleep problems
  • changes in behaviour

Changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia, they can become severe enough to affect daily life.

More people over 65 indeed have dementia. However, it is not exclusively an older person's disease; younger people get dementia too.


Five things to know about dementia
  • Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
  • Diseases of the brain cause dementia
  • It is not just about losing your memory
  • It's possible to live well with dementia
  • There's more to the person than the dementia


Become a Dementia Friend

A Dementia Friend is somebody that learns about dementia so they can help their community. Being a Dementia Friend means putting yourself in the shoes of someone living with the condition and turning your understanding into action.

Dementia Friends help people living with dementia by taking actions - big or small. These actions don't have to be time-consuming. From visiting a loved one with dementia to being more patient in a shop queue - every effort counts.

It's really easy to become a Dementia Friends - all you have to do is watch an online video where you meet people living with dementia and learn more about life with the condition.


Sources:

About dementia - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk

Alzheimer's Society - United Against Dementia (alzheimers.org.uk)