5 things you should know about dementia

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“I like to keep the garden looking nice so I work on it when needed. But most of all I do art. I have good days and bad days. Some paintings don’t turn out as well as I’d like, but often they do. When a painting turns out well, it gives me a lift and encourages me to press on. I’m really lucky to have my art because it’s the thing that keeps me going.”

John, who lives with dementia

  1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing

Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. It is caused by diseases which lead to changes to the structure and chemistry of the brain.

  1. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain

The word dementia describes a group of symptoms that may include memory loss, difficulties with planning, problem-solving or language and sometimes changes in mood or behaviour.

  1. Dementia is not just about losing your memory

People often associate dementia with memory loss, and it does often start by affecting a person’s short-term memory. Someone with dementia might repeat themselves and have problems recalling things that happened recently – although some people easily remember things from a long time ago. But dementia can also affect the way people think, speak, perceive things, feel and behave.

  1. It’s possible to live well with dementia

Scientists and researchers are working hard to find a cure or effective treatments for dementia. In partnership with people with dementia and their families, they are also looking into its causes, how it might be prevented and diagnosed earlier, and how to improve quality of life for people living with the condition. Until we find a cure, there are drugs and other therapies that can help with some of the symptoms, so people can lead active, healthy lives and continue to do the things that matter to them most.

  1. There’s more to the person than their dementia

There is no getting away from it – living with dementia is hard. When someone is diagnosed, their plans for the future might have to change. But dementia doesn’t change who they are or what their history is. With the right support, it is possible for people with dementia to carry on doing the things they enjoy, or even finding new things to enjoy, to get the best out of life.

“My family and friends have been wonderful – they support me in so many ways and I’m glad I can talk openly to them. Nobody should have to face dementia alone. Never be afraid to ask: ask people, ask questions and ask for help.”

Anne, who lives with dementia

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You can download the full text here http://www.alzscot.org/assets/0001/9415/5_things_brochure_one_to_view.pdf.

All comments welcome on this blog post and

  • What 5 things do you think people should know about dementia?
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