AD – This is a pre-written post
Vascular Dementia is a common type of dementia caused by reduced blood flow to the brain. It’s estimated to affect around 150,000 people in the UK, but for Dementia as a whole, this there are currently 850,000 people in the UK with the disease. Vascular dementia can affect anyone, anywhere, although, those over the age of 45 are most often diagnosed with disease.
With so many people in the UK with the disease, there are so many families who have to cope with their loved one’s health detreating. It’s a heart-breaking disease, but with research for the cure well underway, the best thing that can be done now is to continue raising awareness of the signs of Dementia and highlighting charities that are fundraising for the research into the cure.
Vascular Dementia can affect people in different ways, and the underlying causes to the Dementia will vary too. Symptoms may develop over a long period of time, or they will develop suddenly, for example, after a stroke.
Country Cousins have created the infographic below which highlights the eight symptoms of early Vascular Dementia that everyone should know about:
Usually, the common early symptoms of Vascular Dementia are shown when a person struggles planning or organising, making decisions or solving problems, difficulties following steps or storylines, and problems concentrating, which often leads to feelings of confusions.
To gain a deeper understanding of Vascular Dementia, here is further description of the symptoms in the infographic:
Subtle short-term memory changes
In the early stages of Vascular Dementia, memory loss is subtle and usually involves short-term memory loss, rather than long-term memory loss. This means someone with Dementia will be able to remember events that took place when they were younger, but might struggle to remember where they put their house keys, or what they had for dinner the night before.
Stumbling over your words
This is particularly frustrating for people with Dementia, as they know what they want to say, but they have difficulty communicating their thoughts. Therefore, having a fluid conversation with someone who has Dementia can be challenging, and it may take longer than a normal conversation would.
Regular mood swings
Regular mood swings are very common for people with Dementia, especially in the early stages. Not being able to communicate properly and forgetting what you have for breakfast is understandably very frustrating for the individual. If you have Dementia, you might not notice these mood swings yourself, but it will be obvious for friends and family.
Along with mood swings, a person with Dementia might have a complete personality change. Someone who was once confident and outgoing might become shy and quiet.
Loss of interest
Another common symptom in the early stages of Dementia is apathy, which means the individual is losing interest in their everyday activities and hobbies. They might not even want to see their friends or family.
Loss of direction
A sense of direction starts to determinate in the onset of Dementia, this might mean not being able to recognise regular journeys in the car or certain familiar landmarks. It also becomes a struggle to follow directions, say on a map or on a phone.
One of the most well-known symptoms is confusion. When someone starts to forget things, and their personality is changing frequently, confusion will start to set in. Because of this, someone with Dementia may start to forget familiar faces and they won’t be able to interact with people the same anymore.
A classic early symptom is not understanding things and not being able to follow steps or storylines. For example, it will become very difficult to watch TV and follow the storyline, or in when talking to a friend, it will become difficult to engage in fluid conversation.
Memory loss and behaviour changes in the early stages tend to cause repetitiveness. This means a person might continuously repeat daily tasks, such as brushing their hair, making their bed, or tidying the house. When in engaging in conversation, someone with dementia might repeatedly ask the same question.
It’s important to note that forgetfulness doesn’t always mean someone has dementia, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore the symptoms. If you know someone who is experiencing the eight early signs mentioned above, then getting them to talk to a doctor is important.
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, there are many people who might feel wary venturing out to the doctors, meaning those who think they have possible symptoms are delaying any possible diagnosis, which in turn delays receiving treatment for the disease.
So, making sure people know the symptoms stated in the infographic will hopefully encourage those to visit the doctors, as the symptoms above are not to be ignored and even if you think you just ‘get confused’ sometimes or have ‘difficulty understanding things’ every now and then, these are not things to dismiss.
Although there is a no set cure for dementia, there are numerous steps that can be taken to improve cognitive health, such as memory games, puzzles, being active and implementing a healthy lifestyle. There is also various research projects that can be joined to aid in the studies being done to try and understand dementia further and develop further treatments.
Country Cousins understands how complex dementia is, and families all over the UK rely on their dementia home care services as opposed to placing their loved ones within residential care homes. The carers at Cousins Cousins will provide companionship, meal preparation, housework, domestic administration, recreational support, and daily errands So, you can be rest assured that your family member will be truly cared for.
If you want to learn more about Country Cousins Dementia live-in care you can call them on 01293 224 706.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to be challenging for everyone, but for those with Dementia or for those who have a family member with Dementia, it will be even more difficult. For further advice, visit Dementia UK for Covid-19 support.