Dementia Awareness

10 October 2016

The key functions of the brain that are affected by dementia are the frontal lobe which controls behaviour, movement and personality. The temporal lobe which controls memory, speech and hearing. The parietal lobe which controls language, special awareness and recognition and the occipital lobe which controls visual processing. 1. 3 Explain why depression, delirium and age related memory impairment may be mistaken for dementia. Depression, delirium and age related impairment can be mistaken for dementia as they all have similar signs and symptoms. Some of the signs that are similar between depression and dementia are – * low mood or sadness feeling hopeless and helpless * feeling irritable and intolerant of others * having no motivation or interest in things * finding it difficult to make decisions * feeling anxious or worried * moving or speaking more slowly than usual * disturbed sleep – finding it hard to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning * having difficulties in your home and family life Some of the signs and symptoms that are similar between delirium and dementia are – * An inability to stay focused on a topic or to change topics * Wandering attention Getting stuck on an idea rather than responding to questions or conversation * Being easily distracted by unimportant things * Being withdrawn, with little or no activity or little response to the environment * Poor memory, particularly of recent events * Disorientation, or not knowing where one is, who one is or what time of day it is * Difficulty speaking or recalling words * Rambling or nonsense speech * Difficulty understanding speech * Difficulty reading or writing * Disturbed sleep habits * Extreme emotions, such as fear, anxiety, anger or depression

Some of the signs and symptoms that are similar between age related impairment and dementia are – * Asking the same questions * Forgetting common words when speaking * Taking longer to complete familiar tasks, such as following a recipe * Misplacing items * Undergoing sudden changes in mood or behaviour for no apparent reason 2. 1, 2. 2 Outline the medical and social model of dementia. The medical model of dementia is about how dementia as an illness affects the mind and body medically, why it affects us and the treatment used to help slow down the effects of dementia.

There is no cure for dementia and it is a progressive disease, this means that it gets worse over time. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s The social model of dementia is about how the disability affects the everyday life of a sufferer and their family. How it restricts daily activities around the home and socially. How to come up with strategies to improve daily routines to enable everyone to cope better with the situation. What and where to get help and support if you are a sufferer or a carer of someone who is suffering. 2. 3 Explain why dementia should be viewed as a disability.

Dementia should be view as a disability because people who suffer with it need support to take part in everyday activities. As dementia is a progressive illness tasks such as eating, drinking, personal care, cleaning, laundry etc become impossible. The minds no longer work properly and people become confused and forgetful, with everyday things and with the past, because of this they can become a danger to themselves and to others. They need constant care and support to live as ‘normal’ life as possible. They are no longer able to look after themselves. 3. 1 List the most common causes of dementia.

Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells in the brain. The changes and damage to the brain are caused by a build of protein. These proteins are different in each type of dementia. With Alzheimer’s the brain shrinks which affects how the brain works. Vascular dementia is caused when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. The brain needs a constant supply of blood to remain healthy without it brain cells are damaged and die. Dementia with Lewy bodies is caused by small circular lumps of protein. It is unknown what causes them and what damage they cause to the brain.

Frontotemporal dementia is caused by shrinking and damage to two areas of the brain the temporal lobe and the frontal lobe, people under the age of 65 are generally affected by this type of dementia. 3. 2 Describe the likely signs and symptoms of the most common causes of dementia. * Memory loss – short and long term. * Difficulty communicating – finding the right words use. * Difficulty with tasks – using a remote control, microwave etc. * Difficulty with planning and organizing – getting muddled with dates finding it too overwhelming. * Difficulty with coordination and gross and minor motor skills. Problems with disorientation, such as getting lost – forgetting where you live. * Personality changes – turning angry and rude when normally happy and polite. * Inability to reason * Inappropriate behaviour – saying or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time eg; swearing. * Paranoia – feel that everyone is against you. * Agitation – unable to relax. * Hallucinations – see things that aren’t there or talk to people who aren’t around. * Depression – not wanting to socialise, unhappy, not eating. * Confusion – forgetting who people are such as sons or daughters or names. 3. 3

Outline the risk factors for the most common causes of dementia. Dementia is more likely to develop as people get older; it is also thought that it may be hereditary and that there is a link between different genes. Dementia is not a normal process of getting old. It is caused by diseases that affect the brain and kill brain cells. Research is starting to show that there may be other risk factors that are influenced by our lifestyles and health conditions. It is thought that there may be a link between serious head injury and the future risk of dementia so it is important to protect your head.

There is more evidence that suggests the condition of your heart has an effect on the condition of your brain, so people who suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and diabetes are at higher risk of developing dementia. It is suggested that to help reduce the risk of developing dementia it may help to try and stay healthy by eating a well-balanced diet and keeping fit, no smoking, a low alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping your mind active. 3. 4 Identify prevalence rates for different types of dementia. There were 800,000 people in the UK with a form of dementia in 2012 * There were over 17,000 people under 65 with dementia in the UK in 2012 * One in 14 people over 65 years of age and one in six people over 80 years of age has a form of dementia The number of people with dementia in different parts of the UK has been estimated by applying new prevalence figures to estimates of population numbers for 2012: * England: 665,065 (2012) * Northern Ireland: 18,862 (2012) * Wales: 44,598 (2012) The well-established prevalence rates for dementia in the UK are: * 40-64 years: 1 in 1400 * 65-69 years: 1 in 100 * 70-79 years: 1 in 25 80+ years: 1 in 6 Projected growth * It is estimated that by 2021 there will be one million people with dementia in the UK * This is expected to rise to over 1. 7 million people with dementia by 2051. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. The proportions of those with different forms of dementia can be broken down as follows: * Alzheimer’s disease (AD): 62% * Vascular dementia (VaD): 17% * Mixed dementia (AD and VaD): 10% * Dementia with Lewy bodies: 4% * Fronto-temporal dementia: 2% * Parkinson’s dementia: 2% * Other dementias: 3% It is thought there are over 17,000 younger people with dementia in the UK.

People with learning disabilities may experience a higher risk of dementia because of premature ageing. Also, people with Down’s syndrome have an increased genetic risk of developing dementia Dementia worldwide * There are currently nearly 36 million people with dementia in the world. * As many as 28 million of those living with dementia worldwide do not have a diagnosis. * The numbers of people living with dementia worldwide is expected to double every 20 years. * By 2050 it is projected there will be 115 million people with dementia worldwide, 71 per cent of whom will live in developing countries. . 1 Describe how different individuals may experience living with dementia depending on age, type of dementia, and level of ability and disability. Dementia affects people in different ways and the severity is very different in each case. Not everyone will suffer the same symptoms such as memory loss, personality change, concentration etc. With each type of Dementia the symptoms can be different. As dementia is a progressive disease the individuals age and how long they had had dementia will have an affect on their experience of living with it.

Younger people with Dementia are generally able to stay more independent that people in their 80’s. It is important to encourage independence and support interests and hobbies encouraging dementia sufferers to continue to enjoy life. Dementia sufferers can vary day to day and have good days and bad days it’s important to remember they don’t have control of their brains whatever age and whatever stage the dementia is at. 4. 2 Outline the impact that the attitudes and behaviours of others may have on an individual with dementia. Dementia sufferers need to live a fulfilled life regardless of their disabilities.

Finding activities they keep them interested and stimulated is important this can help prevent them being frustrated and depressed with life. Sometimes dementia sufferers are unable to explain how they feel and what their wishes are this can be worrying and upsetting for them. It is important to always have the person’s best interests at heart and do what is right for them and treating them with respect. Staying calm and positive has an effect on everybody’s attitude to life and can help change the way someone is feeling. (Facts and figures in 3. 4 are taken from the Alzheimer’s Society website)

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