What is dementia?

The first step to helping a loved one with Dementia is to understand the disease. Read on to learn more about the cause of the disease, the symptoms & how to provide effective care. 

What is Dementia?

Dementia isn’t a disease in itself, but rather an umbrella term for over 200 varieties of conditions that attack the brain’s nerve cells. Nerve cells are responsible for communication within the brain but when they become damaged, messages can’t be sent from and to the brain properly resulting in abnormal body function and the symptoms of dementia. 

Despite popular belief, dementia can affect anyone of any age, though it is more common in those who are over 65 years old. Currently, there are more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK alone and this is expected to rise to over 1 million by 2021. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for dementia but when caught early, symptoms can be managed by a combination of therapy, medication and lifestyle. 

Symptoms of dementia

As dementia attacks different regions of the brain, it affects people in different ways and symptoms will vary from person to person. 

The most common and well-known symptom of dementia is memory loss and retaining new information. This can include frequently losing items, forgetting names, becoming lost in familiar places and struggling to recognise faces. Another common symptom is finding it difficult to process information, for example, they may get up in the middle of the night to go to work, struggle to make simple decisions like what to buy at the supermarket, lose interest in things they used to enjoy and easily lose concentration. People with dementia can also lose the ability to communicate effectively as they forget words and reading and writing can become increasingly challenging. 

Caring for someone with dementia

While it can be very rewarding, caring for someone with dementia is undoubtedly incredibly challenging and as dementia is a progressive disease, this will only become increasingly difficult. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself both physically and mentally and ask for help if you’re struggling. It might also be worth considering if your loved one would benefit from the full time and professional care of a residential care home, where trained staff will be able to cater to their every need 24 hours a day. 

Rated Good in all areas by the Care Quality Commission, Primrose Lodge is a residential care home located in the beautiful seaside town of Weymouth. Our experienced and compassionate staff have years of experience looking after residents with dementia as well as supporting their family and friends. To learn more about Primrose Lodge, please contact our friendly team today on 01305 786568