Normally associated with old people in rest homes. Unfortunately, the sad fact is with so many people living longer, Dementia is no longer the stronghold of the very old. It affects the brain in such a way as to cause loss of memory, logical reasoning and an inability to focus. Generally speaking it tends to surface after the age of 60 but has been found in people as young as 30. It has been estimated that 1 in 1000 people between 40 and 60 has Dementia. This jumps considerably to 1 in 50 in people 60 years and over.




The early tale tale signs that you will first notice are inability to communicate clearly, forgetting things, even perhaps forgetting who they are. Or no longer able to follow a simple television programme. This sometimes leads to unusual behaviour such as confusion and frustration. Knowing  what to look out for, and being aware of the early signs means being able to prolong the early stages of the disease. Although there is no known cure for this progressive disease, medication, nutrition and behavioural approach will help to slow it down, vigorous mental and physical exercise has also been known to slow it down considerably.




So what exactly is Dementia. In medical terms it is not classed as one single disease, but more as a term to describe a medical condition that covers a group of  symptoms.

Dementia is sometimes confused with Alzhheimers disease. But Alzheimers is actually one of the many forms of Dementia. This particular form of Dementia may take over twenty years before being diagnosed. Vascular dementia is the second most common cause and contrary to belief this particular form does not appear with ageing. It is caused over a long period of time by small mini strokes. These mini strokes generally happen at night so the patient is totally unaware of them.




Here are some of the early symptoms of Dementia to look out for:


Short term memory loss such as Forgetting the names of friends or everyday objects

The inability to complete simple every day tasks.

Repeating themselves or losing the thread of what they are saying.

Struggling to remember recent events, although they can easily recall things that happened in the past. 

Difficulty recalling things they have heard, seen or read.      

Having problems thinking and reasoning.

Repeating themselves or losing the thread of what they are saying. 

Finding that other people start to comment on their memory loss.

Feeling anxious, depressed or angry about their memory loss



However, it must be stressed that as we get older we all suffer from memory loss to a small degree. For instance, if you forget where you put your glasses you are merely being forgetful. But if you forget to wear your glasses you may have Dementia. Big difference.



What should you do if you feel your relative or friend  has the early signs of Dementia. You should carefully encourage them to visit their Doctor or health practitioner as early as possible. In most cases the patient will have family, this means that they will be invariably drawn into the equation. Caring for an elderly person with Dementia in the early stages can be hard work, but in the later stages it will mean facing some difficult decisions. It can be difficult to raise the issue of dementia with a loved one, but it really is worth doing because early diagnosis means patients can receive appropriate treatment earlier, and can get care and support to ensure they are able to live well.