Written by Active Minds on Friday the 27th of October 2017.
With diagnoses of dementia predicted to increase by 35% by 2025, understanding dementia and its effects has become increasingly important, and sorting the facts from the fiction is ever more necessary:
Dementia is not inevitable
It is a common misconception that dementia comes hand in hand with old age. Whilst dementia is more likely to develop in older age, not every elderly person will be diagnosed with dementia.
More women will be diagnosed with dementia
As age is the greatest risk factor for dementia, and with increased life expectancy, especially in women, so the cases of dementia diagnoses in females are rising. In fact, there are currently half a million women in the UK living with dementia, with statistics suggesting that of people born in 2015, 24% of males will develop dementia, compared to 35% of females.
Dementia is not just memory loss
Whilst most people are aware that memory loss is a symptom of dementia, they may not realise that the disease can affect individuals in a variety of different ways. This can include delusions, changes in behaviour, hallucinations and difficultly eating. Many people believe that loss of memory in older age is a signifier of dementia, however, memory loss alone does not necessarily mean that an individual has dementia. There is a difference between normal ageing and dementia.
There are currently no treatments that can cure dementia
Whilst research into dementia is ongoing, and there are treatments available that help people living with dementia manage their symptoms more effectively, there is sadly no current treatment that can stop the diseases that cause dementia.
People living with dementia can still life an active life
Many people mistakenly believe that once they, or a loved one, have been diagnosed with dementia, then their lives come to an abrupt halt. However, this could not be further from the truth. Just because a diagnosis has been given, doesn’t mean that you cannot still get involved in social activities, sports or continue with your favourite pastimes. In fact, continuing to enjoy an independent and active life will help slow down the progression of dementia, as well as lift your mood and keep your body healthy.