Dementia is a sad illness that eventually steals the person's identity, but it doesn't need to be all bad- if early intervention happens, the person can live a very full life for many years.
Here are ten things we think are worth sharing about dementia:
- Dementia is not merely a natural part of the ageing process.
- Dementia affects everyone differently.
- There are several symptoms, not just memory loss.
- People living with dementia need to maintain independence for as long as possible and should have a good quality of life.
- Research into a cure is ongoing.
- Early diagnosis is vital- some medications and therapies can help with symptom progression, so the earlier you are treated, the better, as you can maintain quality of life longer.
- Cognitive stimulation, life stories, activities, art, exercise, and reminiscence therapy are just as important a part of treatment as medications.
- Many other conditions showcase similar symptoms, such as depression, chest and urinary tract infections, vitamin and thyroid deficiencies and brain tumours, that’s why a doctor’s diagnosis is so important early on.
- Over 40,000 people under the age of 65 in the UK have dementia. This is termed early-onset dementia. About 800,000 people throughout the UK have a dementia diagnosis. You can live a wonderful active life with dementia with the right support.
- Although dementia causes memory loss, often depression, and cognitive impairment, dementia does not change who you are. Where to get more information and support:
Alzheimer’s Society at https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ is a supportive service for anyone affected by dementia, providing expert advice and information for all.
Call the Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456 if you’d like to talk to someone.
Sign up to Talking Point, the online community for anyone affected by dementia.
You can always talk to your GP or Community Nurse if you need information about dementia, referrals or any advice.