Dementia is a scary condition. But avoiding the warning signs will not help it go away and an early diagnosis gives the sufferer the best opportunity to live a full and active life with dementia.
Our infographic developed with data and advice from the NHS, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK & Alzheimer’s Research UK provides an easy to understand guide to spotting the early warning signs of Dementia. Feel free to share it, print it or embed in on your website. Together we can raise awareness of Dementia symptoms and promote the benefits of early diagnosis.
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Here are some of the common symptoms to look out for if you think you or a loved one might be suffering with early symptoms of Dementia.
- Memory – Memory loss including forgetting recent events, names and faces & asking questions repetitively can be signs of Alzheimer’s disease
- Concentration – difficulty concentrating on tasks that would previously have been simple is a common symptom of early dementia.
- Confusion – Confusion around seemingly simple everyday tasks, times and places can all be early signs of dementia and in particular Alzheimer’s disease.
- Talking – Struggling to follow a conversation, find the right word or problems understanding words can be early warning symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal dementia
- Numbers – Numbers and money can present a particular challenge for people with Dementia and confusion over dates or simple sums is often an early warning sign.
- Mood – Mood changes including depression and uncharacteristically emotional responses to situations can be symptoms of dementia in particular vascular dementia
- Thinking – people with dementia can struggle with planning, organising and reasoning and may not think things through fully where they would have previously.
- Movement – problems with movement or mobility, frequent falls or changes to the way a person walks can be signs of vascular dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies
- Personality – a person becoming less sensitive to others feelings, displaying a lack of social awareness or developing obsessive behaviour can all be signs of frontotemporal dementia
Causes of Dementia
Dementia is a progressive disorder that affects how your brain works and in particular the ability to remember, think and reason. It is not a disease in itself – but a group of symptoms that may accompany a number of diseases that affect the brain. – AgeUK
There are 4 main forms and causes of Dementia symptoms:
- Over 60% – Alzheimer’s Disease
- 20% – Vascular dementia
- 15% – Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)
- Under 5% – Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
*Figures rounded from different research.
Its possible for a person to suffer more than one cause of Dementia, this is known as “Mixed Dementia
850,000 – the total number of people in the UK with Dementia[i]
£26 billion – the current cost of dementia in the UK[ii]
$2 trillion/ year – the estimated cost of Dementia globally by 2030[iii]
1 in 4 – of all hospital beds are occupied by people with Dementia[iv]
70% – of all people in care homes have some form of Dementia[v]
Only 12% – off all people living with Dementia are in the severe stages[vi]
52% – of people over 60 say Alzheimer’s is the disease they’re most concerned about[vii]
700,000 – the number of “informal carers” for people with Dementia in the UK[viii]
What to do if you think someone you know is showing signs of Dementia
Before starting a conversation with someone you’re concerned about, the Alzheimer’s Society suggests that you ask yourself the following questions:
- have they noticed the symptoms?
- do they think their problems are just a natural part of ageing?
- are they scared about what the changes could mean?
- are you the best person to talk to them about memory problems?
- do they think there won’t be any point in seeking help?
- When you do talk to them, choose a place that is familiar and non-threatening. And allow plenty of time so the conversation isn’t rushed.
- The Alzheimer’s Society has more tips on how to talk to someone about memory problems.
[i] Prince, M et al. (2014) Dementia UK: Update Second Edition report produced by King’s College London and the London School of Economics for the Alzheimer’s Society
[ii] Lewis et al (2014). Trajectory of Dementia in the UK – Making a Difference, report produced the Office of Health Economics for Alzheimer’s Research UK
[iii] Prince, M et al (2015). World Alzheimer’s Report 2015, The Global Impact of Dementia: An analysis of prevalence, incidence, cost and trends. Alzheimer’s Disease International
[iv] Lakey, L (2009) Counting the cost: Caring for people with dementia on hospital wards published by the Alzheimer’s Society
[v] Matthews, F et al (2013). A two-decade comparison of prevalence of dementia in individuals aged 65 years and older from three geographical areas of England on behalf of the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Collaboration.
[vi] Prince, M et al (2014) Dementia UK: Update Second Edition report produced by King’s College London and the London School of Economics for the Alzheimer’s Society
[vii] “Alzheimer’s the greatest concern for over-60s” (2015) YouGov poll
[viii] Lewis et al (2014). Trajectory of Dementia in the UK – Making a Difference, report produced the Office of Health Economics for Alzheimer’s Research UK