Five things you should know about Dementia

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Typical symptoms include worsening memory, reasoning or other thinking skills.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a specific disease. Dementia is not. Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain that account for 80% of dementia cases. Dementia awareness week is from May 17th – May 23rd 2021. Join us at Smarta Healthcare and take action to improve the lives of people who are affected by dementia.

Five things you should know about dementia

1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing
We all forget a name or a face sometimes. Especially as we get older. But dementia is something different. Memory problems are one of a number of symptoms that people with dementia may experience. Others include difficulties with planning, thinking things through, struggling to keep up with a conversation, and sometimes changes in mood or behaviour.

Dementia doesn’t just affect older people. Over 40,000 people under 65 in the UK have dementia. This is called early onset dementia. If you’re worried about your memory, or about someone else, the first thing to do is pick up the phone and have a chat with one of the Pharmacists here at Smarta Healthcare. A Pharmacist can check for most of these and take the next steps to find out what’s causing your memory problems.

2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain
Diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease cause nerve cells to die, damaging the structure and chemistry of the brain. Other types of dementia include:
• vascular dementia (caused by problems with blood supply to the brain)
• mixed dementia
• dementia with Lewy bodies
• frontotemporal dementia

Alzheimer’s disease tends to start slowly and progress gradually.

3. It’s not just about losing your memory
When most people hear the word dementia, they think of memory loss. And it does often start by affecting the short-term memory. Someone with dementia might repeat themselves and have problems recalling things that happened recently. But dementia can also affect the way people think, speak, perceive things, feel and behave.  Other common symptoms include:
• difficulties concentrating
• problems planning and thinking things through
• struggling with familiar daily tasks, like following a recipe or using a bank card

4. People can still live well with dementia
Although there is no cure for dementia, scientists and researchers are working hard to find one. Until that day comes, support and treatments are available that can help with symptoms and managing daily life. These can allow people with dementia to lead active, purposeful lives and carry on doing the things that matter to them most.

5. Staff here at Smarta Healthcare and other allied healthcare professionals are here for anyone affected by dementia.

Call our Pharmacy team on 01234 831 768 f you’d like to talk to someone for information, support or advice. Weather it be a dementia sufferer or a carer/ support worker who provides care for a dementia patient, do not hesitate to give us a call.

Ask My Pharmacist – Pharmacy Lead Jodhan Singh
You may be supporting a partner, friend or family member. You may or may not see yourself as ‘caring for’ them or think of yourself as their ‘carer’. Supporting someone with dementia can be a rewarding experience, giving you an opportunity to help someone who is important to you and learn new skills. But we also know that it may be very challenging at times. A carers role is unique and comes with many demands; so if at any point you’d like a quick chat, myself or Baljit Kaur can discuss the following key points with you:

• Understanding the person’s diagnosis
• Taking on the caring role
• Looking ahead: putting plans in place
• Understanding and supporting the person with dementia
• Services, support and housing
• Supporting a person in the later stages of dementia
• End of life care and support
• Support organisations you may find helpful

Remember you are never alone! We here at Smarta Healthcare are here to help