B – Dem 301 - Understand the Process and Experience of Dementia

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B – DEM 301 - Understand the process and experience of dementia As part of my role I am responsible for the procurement and contracting of services for Older People. The types of services that are procured can be varied and wide ranging. Understand the neurology of dementia 1.1 There are a wide range of causes of Dementia. Dementia may be brought on by one particular cause or sometimes a combination of conditions. Dementia is basically damage in the brain where there is a build-up of abnormal proteins which causes a decline in mental ability. The decline can be either rapid or a gradual process. Typical causes of Dementia can be one specific disease such as Alzheimer’s which accounts for 60-80% of cases, or Parkinson’s or motor neurone disease, however Dementia is not a specific disease but rather describes a wide range of symptoms. In most cases, dementia is not inherited directly from family members, although a small number of cases can be inherited from family members. Other less common causes of dementia may include depression, head injuries, alcohol misuse, brain tumours, infections of the brain such as HIV, Strokes, or lack of Vitamin B in the diet. These causes of dementia can be treatable or non progressive or in some cases reversible such as vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Rarer causes of dementia include Huntington’s disease, or progressive supranuclear palsy. 1.2 The different types of memory impairments commonly experienced by individuals with dementia include thought impairment such as storing and retrieving memory problems, calculation, spelling, planning and organising. Many people can also have difficulty with day to day tasks. Other difficulties include learning, mood changes, confusion and lack attention. These impairments can be placed in the categories of frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe,

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