Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. There are many different causes of dementia, and many different types. People often get confused about the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia, and together with vascular dementia, makes up the majority of cases.
How common is dementia?
Research shows there are more than 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia. One in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia, and the condition affects 1 in 6 people over 80. The number of people with dementia is increasing because people are living longer. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will be more than 1 million.
Symptoms of dementia
Dementia symptoms may include problems with:
mental sharpness and quickness
language, such as using words incorrectly, or trouble speaking
difficulties doing daily activities
People with dementia can lose interest in their usual activities, and may have problems managing their behaviour or emotions. They may also find social situations difficult and lose interest in relationships and socialising. Aspects of their personality may change, and they may lose empathy (understanding and compassion).
A person with dementia may see or hear things that other people do not (hallucinations).
Because people with dementia may lose the ability to remember events, or not fully understand their environment or situations, it can seem as if they're not telling the truth or are wilfully ignoring problems.
As dementia affects a person's mental abilities, they may find planning and organising difficult. Maintaining their independence may also become a problem. A person with dementia will usually need help from friends or relatives, including help with making decisions.
The symptoms of dementia usually become worse over time. In the late stage of dementia, people will not be able to take care of themselves and may lose their ability to communicate.
By having in place a Lasting Power of Attorney, key decisions to do with Health & Care and Property & Finance can be taken by your appointed attorneys, ensuring your later life wishes are upheld.
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