Dementia and Alzheimer’s
7% of UK adults aged 65+ suffer with dementia. Dementia is most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s. Common dementia symptoms include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word, confusion about time or place, mood changes. There can be changes in perception e.g. thinking a blue carpet is made of water, or thinking their son is their husband, delusions, hallucinations, losing inhibitions, and aggression. Dementia is NOT an inevitability of aging, but a brain disease.
11% of UK adults aged 65+ suffer from Alzheimer’s. Common symptoms include the ones listed above as well as repetitively asking questions, becoming confused in unfamiliar environments, becoming withdrawn, anxiety.
Vascular dementia is the 2nd most common cause of dementia in those aged 65+. Here the symptoms are stroke-like: paralysis on 1 side of the body, muscle weakness, movement problems e.g. difficulty walking, mood changes, depression, tearful. It is caused by problems with blood circulation to the brain such as TIA (transient ischemic attacks) or mini-strokes.
Conventional medicine gives drugs for dementia such as cholinesterase inhibitors, like Aricept.
Non-drug measures can be extremely useful too.
Here are my 4 tips:
- Having and maintaining a daily routine can provide comfort and familiarity.
- Decreasing any external stimuli can also help, so minimizing loud noises or bright lights.
- Regular 1-2-1 time with a familiar person who really listens can also help a great deal.
- Support for the spouse and/or close family members of the sufferer is important too. It can be hard to watch a loved one acting in a very different way to how they have been prior to symptoms starting. It can be a cruel disease for all concerned.
Homeopathy can be a support for memory loss and many of the main symptoms of dementia. Bach flower remedies can be an emotional support for families and carers too. Email me if you’d like my help.
Charity support: https://www.dementiauk.org/