Dementia Awareness Month

Dementia is the second leading cause of death of Australians and is the leading cause of death among Australian females. Over the age of 65, Dementia affects almost 1 in 10 people, and over the age of 85, it affects 3 in 10 people. 

It is described as an array of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It can affect normal thinking, memory and behaviour in ways that impact someone’s social or working life. However, Dementia is not categorised as one specific disease and no two people will experience Dementia the same way.

As we lead into Dementia Awareness Month, the Vector Health team believes it is important to recognise the important information that may aid in understanding, diagnosing and treating the symptoms of Dementia and any other conditions associated.

Written by Leighton Milburn

Signs and Symptoms of Dementia include:
– Memory loss
– Changes in planning and problem-solving abilities
– Difficulty completing tasks
– Confusion about time or place
– Trouble understanding what we see (objects, people) and distances, depth and space in our surroundings
– Difficulty with speech, writing or comprehension
– Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
– Decreased or poor judgement
– Withdrawal from participation within work or social life
– Changes in mood and personality

Although the reasons why people develop dementia is unknown, the common types of dementia are:
Alzheimer’s disease
Vascular dementia
Lewy body disease
Frontotemporal dementia

Dementia is progressive and while there currently is no known cure, there are healthcare professionals, medications and various other therapies available that can assist with symptom management, and support you to look after the health and wellbeing of yourself and/or someone with Dementia.

Support is vital for people living with Dementia, and the help from families, friends and carers can make a very significant difference in managing the condition and maintaining the best quality of life. 

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