What is Dementia?

Picture a bookshelf standing freely in a room. The books are a person’s life memories; long term memories at the bottom, short term memories at the top. Now imagine the screws holding the bookshelf together starting to become loose. The bookshelf starts to rock – The books start to fall. The most recent short terms memories fall first leaving past long term memories to fall last.

The Alzheimer’s Society defines Dementia as a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, and often changes in mood, perception or behavior’. It can affect anyone of any gender, any race, of any age at any time of their lives. There are currently 850,000 people in the UK alone who currently live with Dementia with 1 in 14 people over that age of 65 live with this Dementia.

What causes Dementia?

There are a number of types of Dementia triggered in different ways. The two primarily heard of are:-

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Vascular Dementia

Alzheimer ’s disease is the most common cause of Dementia in the UK and is caused by an abnormal protein surrounding brain cells and another protein damaging the cell’s structure. Over a period of time the connections between the brain cells become weaker and weaker and eventually die. This is why problems with day-to-day memory can develop and trouble organising and or planning can occur.

Vascular Dementia is caused by the narrowing or blockage of blood vessels resulting in brain cells becoming damaged or dying. As with Alzheimer ’s disease, Vascular Dementia can develop slowly over time but can also suddenly occur after a large stroke resulting in confusion and memory loss.

Are there any symptoms of Dementia?

Every person is unique and will experience Dementia in a different way. However, there are some common symptoms to look out for such as:-

  • Problems with their day-to-day memories; mostly being the most recent ones
  • Concentrating, organising themselves or planning
  • Communicating – this could include not being able to find the right word to describe something or not following a conversation
  • Visual problems – not seeing things are they truly are such as distance or size
  • Orientations – losing track or time or date and possibly not knowing where they are
  • Mood – a person living with dementia may have sudden mood changes making them sad or frustrated for example.

At Chadwick Lawrence we understand Dementia does not just affect the person living with it but also their family and friends. Our staff have had the opportunity to take part in training to understand the causes and symptoms of Dementia and become Dementia Friends. Our staff can now assist People living with Dementia in our local community and take a step towards our offices becoming a safe environment for those living with Dementia.

If you have any concerns for your loved one following this blog please contact our team of experts in our Court of Protection department.