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What is dementia?

Learn more about dementia and,
which issues affects life with dementia

What is dementia?

Learn more about dementia and, which
issues affects life with dementia 

Learn more about dementia

Dementia is not an illness in itself, but a condition that is affected by an illness. It is estimated that 89.000 people in Denmark are living with dementia.

  • Only approximately 50% of all people with dementia are diagnosed 
  • 400,000 people in Denmark has a family member with dementia
  • Approximately 1,500 people under 65 years old has dementia
  • There are approximately 8,000 new cases of dementia every year
  • 18,000 to 20,000 people in Denmark receives medication for dementia

Illnesses that leads to dementia

There are over 200 different illnesses that can lead to dementia, where the most common illness within this group is Alzheimer’s. More than half of all people with dementia in Denmark suffers from Alzheimer’s and the symptoms often develops slowly. This means that it can be difficult to discover at an early stage. The illnesses can be divided in to 3 categories. :

Neurodegenerative diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases slowly break down the brain and its functions. Diseases within this category includes Alzheimer’s, Frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia.

Vascular dementia
Vascular dementia is caused by disruptions in the blood supply to the brain or blood vessels. This can for example be caused by coarctation of blood vessels in the brain, blood cloths or hemorrhages.

Other diseases
There are many other diseases that can weaken the brain. This can for example be chronic lack of vitamin B, poisoning or metabolic diseases.

The chance of dementia increases with age

Even though the chance of dementia increases with age, it is not caused by old age, as it was previously assumed. Dementia is instead caused by the diseases that causes weakening of different cognitive functions. Therefore, previously used terms like senile and senility aren’t used anymore.

Depending on the stage of dementia and which illness someone has, the symptoms of dementia can vary. Besides memory loss, which is often seen as the most common symptom of dementia, some of the side effects can of having dementia can be:

  • The ability to find words
  • The ability to navigate
  • The ability to calculate

These symptoms can have a big effect on the person with dementia and the relatives, because the symptoms can have a big effect on the personality of the person with dementia. This can for example be seen by the fact that people with dementia often has difficulty handling situations with a lot of people, and understanding stories told by other people.

Different stages of dementia
There are many different stages of dementia and it is all types of people that can get dementia. Some people become more affected by dementia in their everyday life than others, and the duration of dementia can vary from a few years to many years. That is why it is important to create an everyday life that is adjusted to the specific needs that the individual has, to be able to both safety and the quality of life. This can for example be done by using different types of welfare technology, which can help make everyday life easier. This helps both the person with dementia and the relatives in their everyday life, and creates a habit of using welfare technology, which makes it far easier to use as the stage of dementia increases.

You can read more about how Otiom can help you here

Treatment of dementia

Even though dementia cannot be stopped, there are different forms of treatments that can delay the symptoms caused by dementia.

Daily activities
To keep active, both physically and mentally, can have a big effect on a dementia disease. The daily activities that shapes everyday life, are important, because they help create a meaningful existence that is part of keeping up a social life and the individual’s own identity. This can for example be spending time with family and friends, participation in singing and music and participations in other specific activities for people with dementia.

Physical activities
Physical activities are important, because they have a positive effect on both the body, the mood and the brain. Therefore, it is important to find a kind of physical activity that fits the individual person. This can for example be walks and different kinds of sport. This is among other things helping to improve:

  • Mobility
  • Functionality
  • The circuit

Care

It is important that the care is fitted to the individual. This is both because people react differently to getting dementia because their life story, personality, habits, needs and wishes affect their way to live and therefore also their need for care. Apart from this, physical care is an important part, because some everyday situations can be difficult to handle for people with dementia. This can for example be brushing teeth, eating and showering.


SourceVidenscenterfordemens.dk, Alzheimer.dk og Aeldresagen.dk.