Dementia FAQs: 7 Common Questions Answered

Posted on: 29/10/2021

In the UK, research shows that more than 850,000 people are currently living with dementia, but it is still often misunderstood by many due to a lack of awareness and education.

Below, we have answered seven common questions about dementia.

  1. Is there a difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of symptoms caused by diseases that affect the brain.

The most common symptoms associated with dementia include memory loss, problems with speech and language, difficulty solving problems and difficulty concentrating. However, these symptoms do differ between the different types of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common of those diseases that affect the brain. It is a progressive condition caused by a build-up of proteins in the brain called amyloid. The first sign of Alzheimer’s disease is usually mild short-term memory loss.

  1. Is dementia hereditary?

Dementia is often not inherited, however, there may be a small genetic link in some types of dementia.

For example, certain inherited conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, could lead to the development of vascular dementia across different generations. Whilst vascular dementia is not inherited itself, the other conditions increase the risk of also developing it.

The other exception is those types of dementia that may have been caused by faulty genes, such as young-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Familial Prion disease. These are more likely to be inherited as the faulty gene can be passed through generations, however, they are rare.

  1. Does dementia only affect older people?

Dementia most commonly affects people over the age of 65, however, it is possible to develop early-onset or young-onset dementia below this age.

The cause and symptoms are the same as normal dementia but, as mentioned above, it can also sometimes be caused by faulty genes.

  1. What are the early symptoms of dementia?

Some of the most common early symptoms of dementia include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, difficulty with language and speech, becoming confused and disorientated, changes in mood and apathy.

You can read more in our blog on 6 common early symptoms of dementia to look out for.

  1. Is there a cure for dementia?

Unfortunately, as dementia is caused by different diseases, there isn’t currently a cure. However, research and clinical trials are ongoing for the different diseases that cause dementia.

  1. How can I reduce the risk of developing dementia?

Getting older is one of the biggest factors when it comes to developing dementia – whilst this is something we can’t avoid, evidence shows there are some things you can do.

Staying physically and mentally active, quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, eating a healthy & balanced diet, and managing health conditions are all things you can do to reduce your risk.

  1. What are the stages of dementia?

Dementia is usually split out into three stages – early, middle and late.

In the early stages, people living with dementia are usually able to maintain a normal level of independence and will only experience mild symptoms.

As their dementia progresses and they move towards the middle stages, the symptoms will progress, becoming more noticeable and they may develop further symptoms. At this point, they may begin to require more help to manage their daily routine.

When someone reaches the later stage of dementia, they will usually require full-time support to help them manage their daily routine. This is because their symptoms may be quite severe, not just mentally but physically too.

At Progress Lifeline, we provide packages that are built to allow individuals living with dementia to remain safe and independent. They also provide those individuals and their loved ones with complete reassurance and peace of mind that help will be at hand whenever it's needed.

With all of our packages, you can also add on our emergency response service who will be alerted by our alarm response centre after an alert is triggered - either if the individual doesn't respond to one of our operators, or if they ask for help.

To find out more about the packages we provide and how our emergency response service works, simply click here!