What is Dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain. There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.
Some people may have a combination of types of dementia. Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.
Rates of dementia in the UK
Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age. The Alzheimer’s Society (2015) reports there are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. Of these, approximately, 42,000 are people with young onset dementia, which affects people under the age of 65. As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia. It is estimated that the number of people living with dementia in the UK by 2025 will rise to over 1 million. Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.
It is important that an accurate diagnosis is made as early as possible so that people can receive the appropriate advice, support and treatment, and can start planning for their future.