Defining Dementia

ArthritisDementia is a syndrome that involves a severe loss of cognitive ability, beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. The symptoms can be static, which usually indicates a brain injury, or progressive, usually due to bodily disease.

Difficult to pin down, not only is dementia common amongst the geriatric population, but it can also occur before the age of 65. Unlike many related illnesses, it is not a single definable disease. It is recognisable only by its symptoms and tell-tale signs. These signs tend to exhibit themselves through a few, key, affected areas. Cognitive functions such as memory, attention, language and problem solving can become diminished. If you are worried that someone you know may be exhibiting signs of dementia, please take a look at this NHS Choices page detailing what to look out for.

Sadly, the syndrome is often incredibly difficult to identify, until it has reached the six month stage of its development. It can also be easily confused with delirium, depression and psychosis, maladies which produce similar symptoms. Furthermore, except in cases of trauma or stroke, dementia tends to have a stealth onset. Diagnosis must therefore be aided by nuclear medicine and brain scanning techniques. Brain biopsy can also be necessary, in many cases.

A torturous illness, in its advanced stages, dementia-affected persons may find themselves to be lost in time; unaware of the day, month or even the year; lost in place; unaware of their geographic location; or lost in person; forgetting the names and identities of themselves and others.

Sometimes treatable, often incurable, dementia will almost always necessitate in depth care services, but this does not mean that the family has to quit their jobs to look after the afflicted person. There are many professional companies in the country who are able to provide carers, including Managing Care, who are able to provide round-the-clock home care in Wimbledon.