Common signs and symptoms of Dementia include:
Difficulties with abstract thinking and reasoning
Loss of communication skills
Gait, motor, and balance difficulties
Hallucinations, paranoia and agitation
Becoming lost or disoriented in familiar places
Inability to follow directions
Disorientation as to the date or time of day
Inability to recognise and confusion about familiar people
Having difficulty with routine tasks such as making a cup of tea or paying the bills
Neglecting personal safety, hygiene and nutrition.
This is largely determined by the type of Dementia and which area of the brain is affected. These changes are not part of normal ageing.
In its early stages, confirming a diagnosis of Dementia can be difficult because many of the symptoms of Dementia can be caused by other conditions. A number of different tests and assessments are carried out to diagnose Dementia including reviews of medication, medical and personal history, a full assessment of mental ability, blood tests and imaging scans.
YOUNGER PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA
A younger person with Dementia is likely to face different challenges to that of an older person and:
Is more likely to be fit and active and so will derive greater benefit from the stimulation of their social, mental and physical skills.
Can show a greater awareness and understanding of the degenerative nature of their illness and so require greater counselling and support.
Is more likely to be in work at the time of diagnosis, leading to unemployment on health grounds and in some cases financial problems.
Is more likely to have financial dependents and, in some cases, young children to consider.
Will often need their partner to give up their own job and independence in order to care for them at home.
May also have responsibility for elderly relatives and grandchildren.
Is likely to find it difficult to access appropriate information and support.