What is Dementia?
Dementia is a term used to describe a set of symptoms that include memory loss, mood changes and prelims with reasoning and communication. Dementia is not a natural part of growing, it is in fact caused by diseases of the brain. The most common is Alzheimer's.
Dementia in the UK
In the UK there is around 800,000 people with dementia. While Dementia is most common in older people it is possible for younger people under the age of 65 to get it too.
People aged between 40 - 64, 1 in 1,400 live with dementia
People aged between 65-69, 1 in 100 live with dementia
People aged between 70 - 79, 1 in 25 live with dementia
People aged 80+, 1 in 6 live with dementia
Fact: two thirds of people with Dementia are women. One in 3 people over the agree of 65 will develop dementia.
A glimpse into the future
In 2012 there were 800,000 people with dementia, it is project over the next 40 years that number will double. In 2021, it is projected there will be 1,000,000 (one million) people living with dementia. In 2051? 1.7 million people.
What causes dementia?
Alzheimer's disease (62% of people with dementia)
This is a physical disease caused by various changes in the structure of the brain, and the shortage of essential chemicals that help transmit messages across the brain
Vascular dementia (17% of people with dementia)
Vascular dementia is where blood being supplied to the brain is causing problems, this is common caused by a stroke, or a series of small strokes.
Mixed dementia (10% of people with dementia)
Mix dementia is a type of dementia where a person has a diagnosis of both Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (4% of people with dementia)
Dementia with Lewy bodies is one of the less common forms of dementia, it is caused by irregularities in brain cells, leading to symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
Rarer causes of dementia (3%)
Many other rarer diseases and syndromes that lead to dementia or dementia-like symptoms, including Corticobasal degeneration and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Fronto-temporal dementia (2%)
Rare when all ages are taken into account however it is relatively common in people under 65. It is a physical disease that affects the brain.
Recognising the signs and symptoms of Dementia
Did you know: Only 41% of people with dementia receive a diagnosis. Dementia affects everyone in different ways.
Here are 9 different ways of spotting signs and symptoms of dementia:
- Struggling to remember recent events, but easily recalling things from the past
- Finding it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV
- Forgetting the names of friends or everyday object
- Repeating yourself or losing the thread of what you are saying
- Problems with thinking and reasoning
- Feeling anxious, depressed or angry about forgetfulness
- Other people starting to comment on your forgetfulness
- Confused even when in a familiar environment
- A decline in the ability to talk, read or write.
How well are people living with dementia
Many people with dementia and their carers are still not living well with the condition, and quality of life remains extremely varied. We all have a role to play in creating more dementia friendly communities.
77% if of people with dementia feel anxious or depressed
75% of people in the UK don't think societ is geared up to deal with people with dementia.
67% of people with dementia do not always feel a part of the community
48% of people with dementia feel like a burden to their family
44% of people with dementia feel they lost friends after being diagnosed
Cost to society
The work that people are doing to help those living with dementia is valued at eight billion pounds. This is the work done by family carers alone. The total cost of dementia here in the UK is a staggering 23 billion pounds.
What can we do?
Get involved! Help fundraise, take part in events, volunteer, donate, and campaign for better rights for those living with dementia. Head over to the Alzheimer's Society and head to there Get involved page.
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This post originates from an info-graphic created by the Alzheimer's Society in 2012. http://alzheimers.org.uk/infographic