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Warning signs dementia

 ‘Dementia’ is a general term used to describe various brain disorders that have in common a loss of brain function that is usually progressive and eventually severe. There are over 100 different types of dementia, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.

Features of dementia and warning signs dementia include:

• loss of memory

• confusion

• problems with speech and understanding.

An individual may have more than one type and the age of onset can vary; however, it is generally more common in people over 65 years of age. Attitudes towards older people within our society are not always positive, and this may be echoed in the way in which people approach working with people with dementia.

Some people believe it is an area of work offering few rewards and one that can be carried out by inexperienced, poorly paid and poorly motivated staff. People experiencing dementia may be frightened and behave in a way that causes concern to others and may have difficulty coming to terms with the changes in their mental capacity and well-being. Given the demands of working with people who have difficulty understanding what is going on around them, it is essential to have the necessary understanding, skills, training, creativity and commitment to meet these

challenges.

Although there are many different types of dementia, we focuses on:

• Alzheimer’s disease

• vascular dementia

• dementia with Lewy bodies

• fronto-temporal lobe dementia.

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