Dementia Action Week will take place this year on 17-23 May 2021. At The Mayfair GP, we are committed to providing dementia support to those suffering with the illness, as well as their families, in whatever way we can. This past year has certainly been tough on those living with dementia.
What is dementia?
The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem solving and language.
Dementia can be caused when the brain is damaged by a disease, such as Alzheimers, but this is not the only cause.
The most common causes of dementia are:
- Alzheimer’s disease – a physical condition caused by a build-up of proteins in the brain. This damages the brain cells’ ability to transmit messages and eventually leads to deterioration.
- Vascular dementia – this is caused by problems with blood supply to the brain, often due to stroke damage.
- Frontotemporal dementia – this tends to affect younger people, with the average age range being 45 to 65. This form of dementia affects the frontal and temporal lobes. It causes problems with social functioning, decision making, problem solving, speech, comprehension and language. It is a progressive condition that worsens over time.
- Dementia with Lewy bodies – another progressive condition, dementia with Lewy bodies affects movement and motor control. It may cause tremors, falls, etc.
Why has this year been so bad for dementia?
For those suffering with dementia, regular contact with others, and particularly with loved ones, can help them to keep on top of their symptoms. Visits from family members can give a day structure and help to retain memories of faces and events.
With care homes closed to visitors and strict lockdowns meaning that even those still living at home could receive minimal visits, that lifeline has been removed for many.
Research by the Alzheimer’s Society has shown that the past year has had a huge impact on those suffering with dementia. More than four in five (82%) people with dementia have experienced a deterioration in their symptoms. 50% reported increased memory loss. A third of people said they were having increased difficulty in speaking and understanding others. 28% had experienced a loss in the ability to perform basic tasks, such as dressing themselves.
We offer dementia support
As family members are allowed to visit loved ones again, the shock of their deteriorated state can be upsetting. Little can prepare you for the reality of a parent who no longer recognises you.
It can be equally hard to see family members who this time last year seemed fit and well. But now they might be struggling as their routine and contact with the outside world has been disrupted for so long.
At The Mayfair GP, we specialise in elderly care, and are able to diagnose, treat and manage illnesses like dementia. We can support patients with routine and home visits, but we can also help to support the whole family. Get in touch by calling 07568 369 455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .