Memory loss is normal as you get older, it is normal for your memory to be affected by age, stress, tiredness or certain illnesses and medications. If this happens occassionally it can be annoying but it is important to seek help from a medical proffessional if it is affecting your daily life.
The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Dementia is caused when the
brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or a series of strokes. Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse.Dementia is an umbrella term. It describes the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by certain diseases or conditions. There are many different types of dementia although some are far more common than others. They are often named according to the condition that has caused the dementia
Dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. This includes problems with:
- memory loss
- thinking speed
- mental agility
Dementia affects a persons mental abilities, this may mean they find planning and organising difficult. Their independence may also become a problem this can mean they will usually need help from a friend or relative, including decision making.
Your GP will discuss the possible causes of memory loss with you, including dementia. Other symptoms can include:
- increasing difficulties with tasks and activities that require concentration and planning
- changes in personality and mood
- periods of mental confusion
- difficulty finding the right words
Most types of dementia can’t be cured, but if it is detected early there are ways you can slow it down and maintain mental function.
This year’s Dementia Awareness Week, 15 – 21 May, will encourage people who are worried about dementia to confront their worries by addressing dementia directly and coming to Alzheimer’s Society for information and support. Dementia can be scary and many people don’t know where to turn, but Alzheimer’s Society is here for anyone affected and there are lots of ways we can help. Because we believe that life doesn’t end when dementia begins.