FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined dementia as a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities, learning capacity, language, and judgement.
- Dementia is occasionally preceded, by deterioration in emotional control, social behaviour, or motivation.
- There is deterioration in cognitive function (i.e. the ability to process thought) beyond what might be expected from normal ageing.
- There are different types of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type contributing to 60–70% of cases. Other major forms include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies (abnormal aggregates of protein that develop inside nerve cells), and frontotemporal dementia due to degeneration of the frontal lobe of the brain and also mixed form dementia.
- Young onset dementia (defined as the onset of symptoms before the age of 65 years) accounts for up to 9% of cases
- Across the world, there are 50 million people with dementia, with nearly 60% living in low- and middle-income countries. Every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases.
- Dementia mainly affects older people however it is not a normal part of ageing.
- Dementia results from a variety of diseases such as high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol levels and indulging in bad smoking habits and alcohol intake as well as poor physical health. Additional risk factors include depression, low educational attainment, social isolation, cognitive inactivity and head injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke.
- The person with dementia is affected in different ways depending, depending upon the impact of the disease and the person’s personality before becoming ill. There are three stages linked to dementia, early, middle and late stages.
- The early stage of dementia is often overlooked, because the gradual onset. Common symptoms include: forgetfulness, losing track of the time, becoming lost in familiar places.
- As dementia progresses to the middle stage, the signs and symptoms become clearer and more restricting. These include: becoming forgetful of recent events and people’s names, becoming lost at home, having increasing difficulty with communication, needing help with personal care, experiencing behaviour changes, including wandering and repeated questioning.
- The late stage of dementia is one of near total dependence and inactivity. Memory disturbances are serious and the physical signs and symptoms become more obvious. Symptoms include: becoming unaware of the time and place, having difficulty recognizing relatives and friends, having an increasing need for assisted self-care, having difficulty walking, experiencing behaviour changes that may escalate and include aggression.
- Dementia has a physical, psychological, social, and economic impact, not only on people with dementia, but also on their carers, families and society at large. Therefore, an early diagnosis is required by a specialist neuropsychiatric or by a geriatric specialist doctor.
- There is currently no treatment available to cure dementia and new treatments are still being investigated in various stages of clinical trials.
- However, much can be offered to support and improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers and families. Following are the principal goals for dementia care.
There are 5 goals:
- Early diagnosis in order to promote early and optimal management
- Optimizing physical health, cognition, activity and well-being
- Identifying and treating accompanying physical illness
- Detecting and treating challenging behavioural and psychological symptoms
- Providing information and long-term support to carers
- Studies show that people can reduce their risk of dementia by getting regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. To be involved in social gatherings and healthy sports activities, and to be cognitively active.
- Contact us at Friends Of Dementia Mauritius for further assistance and advice or you may seek medical advice from your nearby health care services available to you.
- Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. It can be overwhelming, not only for the people who have it, but also for their carers and families.
- There is often a lack of awareness and understanding of dementia, resulting in stigmatization and barriers to diagnosis and care. The impact of dementia on carers, family and society at large can be physical, psychological, social and economic.
Any other queries?
Contact us at Friends Of Dementia Mauritius for further assistance and advice to you.