Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of symptoms which affect memory, problem-solving, speech, clear thinking, mental agility and also movement.
Later on, symptoms include loss of empathy, lack of interest in surroundings and other people, disinterest in socializing and they may even begin to hallucinate and see things.
Dementia can start with small changes such as forgetting words and not being able to find things. It is progressive, and there is currently no known cure for it.
The most common forms are Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia. Alzheimer’s typically presents in older people and progresses gradually; early-onset can occur in around 1 in 20 instances from the age of 40 upwards. Vascular Dementia is triggered by the reduction of blood flow to the brain. It causes the usual symptoms but these can be exacerbated by the loss of balance and difficulty in walking.
Notes from our resident Occupational Therapist:
“As Dementia progresses, moving around a standard family home can become confusing and dangerous, especially if physical mobility is also impaired. Stairs present a significant risk, and even using a stairlift when in a state of confusion has in the past, resulted in serious injury. Other means of safely moving between floors should be sought.”