March 2020 – Surgery Newsletter

Dementia: Not a Natural Part of Ageing

Be Aware – Get Help, Get Support

We all forget a name or face sometimes as we get older, but dementia is something different. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing and it does not just affect older people. Over 40,000 people under 65 in the UK have dementia.

The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.  These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life.

Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.  The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the exact disease that is causing the dementia.

Dementia is not just about losing your memory

Although dementia often starts by affecting the short-term memory, other common symptoms include: difficulties in concentrating, problems planning and thinking things through, struggling with familiar daily tasks like following a recipe or using a bank card, issues with language and communication such as trouble remembering the right word or keeping up with a conversation and mood changes.

Although there is no cure for dementia, scientists and researchers are working hard to find one. Until that day comes, support and treatments are available that can help with symptoms and managing daily life. These can allow people with dementia to lead active, purposeful lives and carry on doing the things that matter to them most. There are drugs available that may help with some types of dementia and stop symptoms progressing for a while

There are many other conditions such as depression, urinary infections or thyroid problems that cause a lot of the same symptoms as dementia so it is important to seek medical advice to investigate and exclude these.

If you are worried about your memory or some else, please contact the Surgery.

Alzheimer’s UK can support anyone affected by dementia, including carers.

For more information, support or advice about dementia, contact the National Dementia Helpline: 0300 222 1122.

Dr George Pontikis – GP Partner

The next meeting of the Patient Participation Group will take place at 18:30 on Thursday, 19th March, 2020 at Great Bentley Village Hall.