Mummy says… ‘I think every family is touched by dementia of some sort unfortunately. My youngest children’s Grandad died from it, and my Nan who is 96 displays some of the symptoms. I am very keen to help promote Dementia Awareness Week which is 14 – 20th May this year.
It is heart breaking seeing a loved one suffer from dementia, did you know there are almost 850,000 people living in the UK with a diagnosis of dementia?
Dementia Awareness Week is a great way of raising awareness, and fundraising to help improve care and find a cure. This is vital as dementia looks like it will be the 21st Century’s biggest killer.
Dementia, as with many other conditions is often misunderstood, and can be seen as a bit of a mystery. I hope sharing this information will be of some use to you.
1. Dementia itself is not a disease – it is caused by lots of different diseases. The word ‘dementia’ is just an umbrella term for the symptoms caused by these diseases such as memory loss, confusion and personality change.
2. Dementia is not ‘just apart of getting older’ – yes, the majority of people with dementia are over 65, but the condition is not a normal part of getting older. In the UK over 40,000 people under 65 have dementia.
3. Dementia is more than just memory loss – most people associate dementia with memory loss, but the condition affects people in many other ways. That might include changes in behaviour, confusion, disorientation, delusions and hallucinations. Other symptoms may be a difficulty in communicating, problems judging speeds and distances and sometimes even cravings for particular foods.
4. It is possible to live an independent life with dementia – there are many people in the UK who are facing dementia and developing support and strategies to live well with the condition. That could be anything from taking up new hobbies to making new friends or taking part in research. There are also those people who would benefit from some extra care, and their loved ones may be considering and investigating care homes. It is important to find the right care home, there are some such as Barchester who offer specific dementia care.
5. Dementia affects women more – with women living well into their 80s, 500,000 women in the UK are now living with dementia. The condition is the leading cause of death in women in the UK.
6. There are no treatments to stop the diseases that cause dementia – This means that the diseases will continue to get worse over time unless new treatments can be found.
7. Did you know you can help? – dementia research desperately needs volunteers. There is a new service called ‘Join dementia research’ to help people with and without dementia find out about taking part in studies in their area. If you or someone you know might be willing to help, you can sign up online by clicking here.
These facts are from Alzheimer’s Research UK and there is lots more info on their website too.
Does any one you know suffer with dementia?’