The eight early signs of Vascular Dementia that everyone should know

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I remember when we were told my Great Granddad was diagnosed with dementia, I was quite young at the time but I will never forget that day because it was the day he forgot my mums names and she cried for hours. I also remember when my Great Gran (other side of family) was diagnosed, it felt like we were hit by a ton of bricks because we knew what was coming as we had already been through it. 


Dementia is a horrible disease, it strips someone of what makes them, them at the very end. I will always remember the days we would take the bus to visit my gran, it's a memory filled with happiness but also sadness because those bus rides began to symbol that I was effectively saying goodbye each time we went. It was a confusing time as a child going through it with my granddad and gran, although there was 4 years between each of them passing away, it felt like it all came at once. I didn't know how to react because we sort of let ourselves grieve from the very start, each time we would visit any of them, it was like reintroducing ourselves all over again but I know those days meant the world to them. 


I'll never forget the week before my gran passed away because it was the last time she remembered who I was, it was a day filled with laughs and cold drinks in the garden as I danced around in my dress singing for her, that was the last time I got to see her. I'll always cherish forever. With my granddad though, we didn't get much time as it felt like he was no sooner diagnosed and then he was gone, it was 8 months in all, but it was torture knowing how bad he was getting. 


Sometimes I wonder what would have happed if we had knows the signs earlier, would we have gotten more time? That's way todays post, The eight early signs of Vascular Dementia that everyone should know, is close to my heart, it's something that I think is vital for everyone to know. 


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 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 right 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. In our case my granddad didn't have anything like that, but he suddenly started to forget things a lot, especially what time of day it was and often was found down the high-street by the police and displayed other signs. I'm not sure when it got as bad as that, but I know soon after he was diagnosed.

 

Country Cousins have created the infographic below which highlights the eight symptoms of early Vascular Dementia that everyone should know about and I think it's important that we learn these signs to get our loved ones the help when they need it.


An info-graph that shows The eight early signs of Vascular Dementia that everyone should know


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.

 

Confusion

 

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.

 

Difficulty understanding

 

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.

 

Repetitiveness

 

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.


Stock photo from pexels of an elderly lady in red dungarees holding a basket of flowers


Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, there are many people who might feel wary venturing out to/phoning 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're 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. I can't help but think how much Country Cousins could have helped my granddad, so it's definitely a service that is vital to those who may need it.

 

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.



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1 comment

  1. Dementia truly is horrid. We missed a lot of the early signs with my grandmother on my mum's side, and it was only years later when we were looking back on them that they were so obvious. Another early sign is a loss or change of taste, which makes a lot of sense because my grandmother suddenly switched to putting huge amounts of salt in her food. I just wish we'd known the signs sooner as live-in care would have been a huge help for her and my Grandfather.

    Em xx

    www.emsworldblog.com


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