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As people get older it is normal to slow down and their mental ability changes the way that things are done.  It is normal for things to take longer to be processed by the brain and therefore things take longer than usual to be done. In the normal course of events, ageing affects sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch and movement, this does not mean that a person is suffering from dementia.

The term dementia describes a set of symptoms which include loss of memory, mood changes, problems with communication and reasoning and a reduction in a persons’ abilities to carry out normal daily activities. These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, for example, Alzheimer’s disease.  It is not a specific disease in itself and its symptoms, or disorders can be classified in various ways.  These classifications try to attempt to group the disorders into ones that have common features.  Some types of dementia can fit into more than on these groups.

Dementia is a permanent and progressive disease that disturbs and damages cognitive functions, eventually, it leads to a person not being able to care for themselves.  Symptoms gradually get worse over a period of time, however how fast dementia progresses will be different for each person and it will also depend on which type of dementia they have.  Over time the ability to problem solve, make decisions, form correct sentences and manage physical space can be lost. Symptoms of dementia may include the following;

  • Memory Loss – often this is one of the first symptoms that people around the person suffering from dementia become aware of.  Family and friends often report their loved ones forgetting recent events, getting lost whilst out, repeating themselves, being confused and appearing not to pay attention or be able to follow conversations. 
  • Communication problems - Many People experience problems with communication skills and get confused using incorrect words for common things.  People can also experience difficulty with reading and understanding
  • Dementia can affect everyone and it is necessary to get it correctly diagnosed, however, some people will be living with undiagnosed dementia.  The longer a person lives the more likely it is that they will suffer from some form of Dementia.  However, Dementia can also affect younger people and it is in this group of people that dementia can easily be overlooked