Memory problems can happen to anyone, regardless of age, but it is stereotypically linked with aging. Memory problems and challenges do not necessarily mean you have Dementia. If you are worried about your memory, you should speak to your GP and they may be able to refer you on to services for help. For example, the CPFTs memory assessment services require a GP referral.
Here's the stats: 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. But There are over 40,000 people under 65 with dementia in the UK.
Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. This may include problems with memory loss, thinking speed, mental sharpness and quickness, language, understanding, judgement, mood, movement and difficulties carrying out daily activities
There are many different causes of dementia. 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 (caused by reduced blood flow to the brain), makes up the vast majority of cases. There are several things that people suffering with dementia can experience. For example:
- They can become apathetic or uninterested in their usual activities, or may have problems controlling their emotions.
- Social situations could be found challenging and interest in socializing can be lost.
- Aspects of their personality may change.
- They may lose empathy (understanding and compassion), they may see or hear things that other people do not (hallucinations).
- Losing the ability to remember events or fully understand their environment or situations, it can seem as if they're not telling the truth, or are wilfully ignoring problems, when they actually cannot remember.
- As dementia affects a person's mental abilities, they may find planning and organising difficult.
- Maintaining a person with dementia’s independence may also become a problem; someone with dementia will therefore usually need help from friends or relatives, including help with decision making.
Suffering with dementia can take its toll on you and the people around you, but the good thing is that there are support services out there to help you and give advice and help you through tough times. Check out our Who Else Can Help Me? page for more services!
*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and www.ageuk.org.uk/.