Dementia occurs when the brain is affected by a disease, which can cause a wide range of symptoms. Dementia can affect a person’s normal character and daily routine through forgetting things, repeating themselves and misunderstanding what others say. There are many different types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia being the most common.
Everyone responds to dementia in different ways. It is normal to think back to the person and how things were before the diagnosis. It is common to experience a range of worries and emotions during the course of the dementia. Others may not understand the diagnosis or what you are going through. The person may present with unusual behaviours and it can be difficult to know how the brain changes have caused this or what the most helpful coping strategies.
You will need to make practical changes to how you live your lives. Central to this is the need to help the person live their life in stimulating and meaningful ways which make the most of their abilities and enable them to maintain and develop relationships with others. Research shows that people with early stage dementia can still learn new skills and start new activities.
Many Carers benefit from talking with people in a similar situation. The Alzheimer’s Society has information for people with different types of dementia. You can go to their website www.alzheimers.org.uk or call them on their helpline (freephone) on 0300 222 11 22.
They have a comprehensive information guide called ‘Dementia Guide: Living Well after Diagnosis’ plus useful factsheets on particular behaviours. They can also supply details of
your local Alzheimer’s Society branch.