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Let’s talk Dementia

What is dementia?

Dementia is a complex condition that can be both heartbreaking and bewildering. Dementia is not one specific disease, but an umbrella term that is used to describe approximately 100 different illnesses.

This debilitating illness affects a person’s ability to think, reason, and remember. It is a progressive condition that slowly and steadily worsens over time, and it can have a profound impact on a person’s daily life, as well as the lives of their family.

Imagine a library where books gradually disappear from the shelves, leaving only fragments of information scattered throughout the aisles. Similarly, dementia can strip away a person’s memories, knowledge, and personality, leaving them feeling lost and disconnected from the world around them.

Dementia is caused by physical changes in the brain, such as the buildup of abnormal proteins or damage to brain cells, and there are many different types of dementia, each with their own unique characteristics and causes. While there is currently no cure for dementia, there are treatments and strategies that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

It’s important to understand that dementia is not a normal part of aging, and seeking medical attention early on can make a significant difference in the progression of the disease.

Click here to learn more about Dementia.






You’re Not Alone, Discussing Dementia

Source: Dementia Australia





Who gets Dementia?

Dementia affects people of all cultures, intellectual abilities and lifestyles. It is not a normal part of ageing, although the likelihood of getting dementia increases as a person ages. This doesn’t however, mean that younger people – people aged less than 65 – don’t also get dementia. Some people may be predisposed to dementia by pre-existing intellectual disability, head injury or family history.

Everybody’s journey with dementia is different

Early signs and symptoms of dementia can be subtle and hard to recognise. Symptoms of dementia include:

  • Subtle short-term memory changes.
  • Difficulty with language or communication
  • Changes in personality
  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in behavior
  • Apathy
  • Difficulty with decision making, problem solving, judgement, sequencing of tasks
  • Difficultly completing normal task
  • Changes in co-ordination and spatial awareness
  • Struggling to adapt to change

Click here to learn more about the signs of dementia.

For someone in the early stages of dementia, the experience can be very frightening. Gradually all the things they have been able to rely on all their lives are changing, they can’t remember people’s names or faces or remember previous conversations. They can’t remember what they went to the shop for, and they may get lost on the way home. Because of this, people with early dementia might stick to a strict routine and be afraid to try new experiences. Difficulty adapting to change is a typical symptom of early dementia.

It’s very important to see a GP if you have concerns that you or someone you know may have dementia. If the symptoms are caused by dementia, an early diagnosis means early access to support, information and a plan for the future.






Find Local Help - Dementia New Zealand Network