What Is Dementia?
Contrary to what many people think, dementia is not a single disease in itself, but the medical term used to describe the progressive and irreversible effects that a number of different diseases have on a person’s brain and the way in which it functions.
Dementia affects both men and women and becomes more common with advancing age, although 2 percent of people who develop dementia are under the age of 65.
The symptoms affect three main areas of people’s lives:
Thought processes, such as memory, language, and ability to plan
Emotions, leading to changes such as irritability and aggression in some people, withdrawal and lack of speech in others, and maybe sexual disinhibition and depression
The ability to carry out the normal activities of daily life, from driving and holding down a job in the early stages, to washing, dressing, and even feeding themselves as the condition becomes worse
So just having a few senior moments and becoming a bit more forgetful doesn’t mean that someone has dementia; he may just be becoming older and more forgetful. For a doctor to make the diagnosis, a person needs to have problems in each of the three areas.