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What is dementia?
Dementia is a term that is used to describe a collection of symptoms including memory loss, problems with reasoning and communication skills, and a reduction in a person’s abilities and skills in carrying out daily tasks such as washing, dressing, cooking and caring for self.
There are a number of different types of dementia the most common being Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Fronto temporal dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Some people get diagnosed as having mixed dementia; this is when the presentation shows the person to have elements of more than one type of dementia.
Dementia is a progressive condition, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse. This progression will vary from person to person and each person will experience dementia in a different way.
What to look out for?
Loss of memory
This particularly affects short-term memory, for example forgetting what happened earlier in the day, not being able to recall conversations, being repetitive or forgetting the way home from the shops. Long-term memory is usually still quite good.
Problems with communication
Some people experience problems with expressing themselves, talking and understanding things. They get confused about words and might use wrong words for common things and mix words up. Reading and understanding written text can become problematic.
People with dementia may be withdrawn, sad, frightened or angry about what is happening to them.
Although the person will have some of the above symptoms, the degree to which they affect an individual will vary and not all people will have all of these symptoms.
(Source: Dementia UK)