Good morning/afternoon, today I’m going to be giving a talk on Dementia. I’m going to be focusing on the symptoms, medication, how it effects the patient and their families and any support available. Here’s a hand out with a brief itinerary…
What is dementia?
Dementia is a common syndrome associated with a decline in memory and mental abilities. Dementia affects approximately 800,000 people in the UK alone. It is most common in people aged over 65 and the risk of dementia is greater as you get older. There are several types of dementia including Alzheimers, Vascular, Frontotemperal and Dementia with Lewy Bodies
Some of the main symptoms associated with dementia are:
• memory loss, especially problems with memory for recent events, such as forgetting messages, remembering routes or names, and asking questions repetitively
• increasing difficulties with tasks and activities that require organisation and planning
• becoming confused in unfamiliar environments
• difficulty finding the right words
• difficulty with numbers and/or handling money in shops
• changes in personality and mood
• Incontinence and loss of appetite (in the later stages)
Symptoms often start off mild and get progressively worse, which means a lot of people either don’t notice the signs or don’t take them seriously. Over time the patient’s brain will become more damaged which will result in the symptoms getting worse. The speed at which this happens depends on the individual, the cause of their dementia and their overall health and well being.
Treatment and medication
There are a couple of types of dementia that can be cured, such as dementia caused by vitamin and thyroid deficiencies can be cured by taking supplements, or dementia caused by a head injury or brain tumour can by cured by having surgery. However, most types of dementia cannot be cured, but medication can be prescribed to slow the symptoms down,...