There are many different causes of dementia syndrome, these include; Alzheimer’s disease (the most common cause), Vascular disease usually after a stroke are series of small strokes, dementia with lewy bodies, fronto-temporal dementia (including picks disease) usually affecting personality and behaviour before memory. Other rarer causes of dementia are CJD, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, parkinson’s disease and Huntinton’s disease.
The types of memory imparement that people can experience are short term memory loss, forgetting names, places and people. Not recognising themselves in a mirror as they don’t see themselves as being old. They can forget they have eaten or forget what time of day it is and wake in the middle of the night and sleeping in the day.
People with dementia may struggle to understand information and instructions so need to be given clear concise information using key words and short prompts, not overloading them with too much information at once.
An individuals condition may change due issues outside of their dementia including, infections (particularly urine infections), a change in living arrangements or bereavement can leave people more confused than usual making it seem that their symptoms have progressed.
The abilities of a person with dementia may fluctuate for many reasons, it may be because dementia is a progressive illness which will become worse with time but day to day people may not function as well depending on the time of day, if they are tired or if the weather has changed.