Dementia is not a single disease. Rather it is a collective term used to describe a series of conditions or symptoms where a person’s brain is affected and from the outside, the person with dementia appears normal but the impact on their brain is such that their normal everyday living is affected, sometimes profoundly so.
The various symptoms which health professionals consider when deciding if a person has dementia involve the patient’s ability to remember, to understand instructions, to speak clearly and effectively and to pay attention.
There are some aspects of dementia which are not always well understood. For example the majority of people who are diagnosed with dementia are old or elderly but that is not to say that dementia only occurs in people of senior years. Secondly the actual cause or causes of dementia is still a subject health professionals are investigating. It is believed that a number of different diseases are the cause of dementia. Research continues to this day.
Caring for someone with dementia can be a very taxing and stressful time. Fortunately there are dementia care services where health professionals who are trained in dealing with dementia patients are able to assist in a variety of ways.
If a family member is struggling to deal with a person with dementia, help is available. This is extremely practical help and comes from health professionals with expertise and understanding of dementia care. Do not think you are alone. Do not think there is no-one to help or nothing you can do. Help is definitely at hand.
Probably one of the most important aspects of dealing with dementia is the understanding of what the person with the disease is going through. A change of personality to someone you have known for decades can be a troubling time. Understanding the condition will certainly help. Calling on health professionals who work specifically with dementia patients is a sensible and important step to take.