Dementia is an umbrella term for a condition which effects a loss of memory and a person’s abilities to make decisions surrounding their activities of daily living.
Dementia is more common in older adults (over 65) but can also present in younger adults. With this age group a diagnosis is commonly referred to as ‘Early-Onset dementia’.
There are many different forms of Dementia, which present in different ways:
- Alzheimer’s Dementia – The most common form of Dementia. A progressive disease which effects a person’s ability to learn new information initially and can progress onto behaviour changes and more severe memory loss.
- Lewy Bodies Dementia – This can present similarly to Parkinson’s disease and symptoms include recurrent visual hallucinations, changes in thinking and reasoning, and slowness of movement, tremor (involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body), or rigidity (stiffness). Severe memory loss is less prominent in Lew-Body Dementia than Alzheimer’s.
- Vascular Dementia – This is caused by inadequate blood flow within the brain and can present as disorientation, confusion, poor balance, or physical stroke symptoms (such as numbness or weakness on one side of the body).