Dementia affects the normal working of the brain and can lead to a decline in a person's mental ability.
It can cause:
- loss of memory
- problems with speech
- problems with understanding
Dementia is usually progressive and can eventually be severe. IT most commonly affects older people but it is not a normal part of ageing – most people experience healthy ageing without dementia.
Whilst rare before the age of 65, dementia can also affect younger people and may be easily missed as it is not usually associated with people this age.
For more information, go to Alzheimer’s Society: what is dementia.
Signs of dementia
You should seek help from your GP immediately if your memory is not as good as it used to be, especially if you:
- struggle to remember recent events, although you easily recall things that happened in the past
- find it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV
- forget the names of friends or everyday objects
- cannot recall things you have heard, seen or read
- notice that you repeat yourself or lose the thread of what you are saying
- have problems thinking and reasoning
- feel anxious, depressed or angry about your forgetfulness
- find that other people start to comment on your forgetfulness
- feel confused even when in a familiar environment
Types of dementia
There are many types of dementia. The most common forms are: