Health and Wellbeing
Could You Spot the Early Warning Signs of Dementia?
If you’re over 65, you might be aware that you’re at an increased risk of developing dementia.
Dementia is the term used to describe a collection of symptoms that occur as a result of damage to the brain.
It is sometimes confused with Alzheimer’s Disease, but Alzheimer’s is just one of number of different diseases that can cause this damage.
There isn't a cure for dementia at present, but there are ways to slow the progression of the disease and maintain your mental function.
The symptoms of dementia
The most common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. For instance, you might struggle to think of a particular word you want to use, or find it difficult to count out the correct money when buying something in a shop – even if this is a task you do on a daily basis.
Some people notice that they get lost or disoriented when they are outside, even if they are going to a place they visit regularly. Others might find it difficult to make decisions, or experience changes in their personality.
The most common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and confusion.
It can be difficult to realise that you’re experiencing these symptoms. Your family and friends might notice before you do. Alternatively, you might notice them developing in someone close to you.
If you think you might be experiencing the symptoms of dementia, it’s best to book an appointment with a GP. They will be able rule out any physical conditions that could be causing your symptoms, and if necessary, begin the process of getting a diagnosis.
Your GP will also be able to let you know what support you are able to access. This could include signposting you towards local memory cafes or workshops, where you can obtain information and support in an informal setting. Some individuals with dementia are also eligible for financial or housing support.