Guide for Signs & Symptoms of Dementia
With over 200 versions of the disease, dementia is an umbrella term for a range of conditions and symptoms that affect the brain in more ways than just memory loss. It can cause problems with thinking, problem solving, comprehension and even language. As with most conditions, it is crucial to get treatment as soon as possible because, while there is currently no cure, symptoms can be alleviated and managed.
Arranging home care for a loved one with dementia is one of the best things you can do to ensure they get the support and attention they need within familiar surroundings. At Burley's Home Care, we are proud to be leading providers of compassionate, tailored dementia care in the South. Contact us today to talk to a member of our friendly team.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is not a disease in itself but a collection of symptoms caused by damage to the brain’s neurons (specialist nerve cells that transmit information). The damage stops the brain from sending messages effectively, preventing the body and brain from functioning as they should. It’s estimated around 850,000 people in the UK are currently living with dementia and, though most commonly diagnosed in those over the age of 65, dementia can occur to people of any age.
Symptoms of dementia
Dementia affects people in different ways and symptoms will be different for everyone. As a progressive disease, dementia symptoms often start small, for example, forgetting an important date or a change in mood, and get worse over time, eventually causing the patient major difficulties living a normal life.
The ‘early warning’ signs of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Difficultly processing information
- Difficulty concentrating
- Becoming easily confused
- Changes in personality and mood
- Trouble making decisions
- Struggling to communicate
As early symptoms of dementia cause ‘mild cognitive impairment’, or MCI, it is often not recognised as dementia at first. However, if you or a loved one exhibits any of the warning signs, it’s crucial to see a GP as soon as possible. Sometimes these symptoms appear to be dementia but are in fact another conditions, such as an infection, thyroid problem, stress or B12 deficiency.
Advanced symptoms of dementia include:
- Not being able to communicate
- Severe memory loss
- Significant personality changes
- Loss of physical capabilities including walking, holding head up, and swallowing
- Increased susceptibility to infection
Caring for someone with dementia
People with dementia can often feel lonely and cut off from society as they struggle to maintain their independence. Support with everyday tasks and reassurance from loved ones can help them retain their independence and identity for as long as possible but it can become more and more difficult as the disease progresses. A stable care regime with familiar, friendly faces can help dementia sufferers retain their well-being and relieve pressure for their loved ones so they can make the most of their time together.
Find out more about our care team
Professional dementia care at home
At Burley’s Home Care, we specialise in providing compassionate and professional care to those with dementia to help them retain a good quality of life in their own home. We understand the challenges they face every day and the pressure this can put on their loved ones, which is why we create personalised dementia care plans that are built around the individual’s needs and personal choices. Our fully trained and experienced carers provide the support and care they need to help them to remain at home, surrounded by familiar faces and possessions.