Dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK and can be distressing for everyone involved. It is not a natural part of getting older, but the sooner dementia can be diagnosed, the sooner support can be provided to help with the symptoms.
There are many signs and symptoms of dementia. These include:
- Memory loss – becoming forgetful or having memory lapses can be a normal part of getting older but when memory loss becomes more persistent and severe, this can be the first signs of dementia. Memory loss can affect people differently a first, with some people being able to recall facts or past experiences whilst forgetting recent events.
- Behaviour changes – someone with dementia may start to behave differently to what would be normal for them and start to show different personality traits, for example, someone who was once quiet and reserved may become louder.
- Communication – they may start to struggle to find the right word or become stuck on certain sounds. In some cases, they may have a fluent speech but what they are saying has no meaning or their words are jumbled up.
- Lack of concentration – a sign of dementia is someone not being able to give a task their full focus. They can become easily distracted, even if the task is something they love to do like a hobby.
- Aggression – dementia can cause some people to become verbally or physically aggressive, especially when the disease has progressed.
- Sleep disturbance – this could mean someone waking up a few times or getting up throughout the night. This could result in them being tired during the day and having long naps, disrupting their natural ‘body-clock’.
- Consistent walking – this means someone is repeatedly walking around the house or have a need to go out. Their memory loss may make them think they have somewhere to be or must search for an item. They may also be trying to relieve any stress of pain they are feeling.
- Lack of interest or enthusiasm – they may start to lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, such as hobbies or visiting friends. This affects their self-confidence and can lead to other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
There is no cure for dementia, but treatment is available to ease the symptoms and help people feel comfortable.
At Heritage Healthcare, we provide dedicated and bespoke support to help people be independent at home for longer. Our highly-trained care team can help individuals living with the different stages of dementia to feel comfortable, providing support to everyone affected. To find out more, please visit our dedicated dementia support service page by clicking here or you can contact your nearest Heritage Healthcare office by clicking here.