The end of September marked Dementia Action Week, an annual National event that raises awareness and understanding of dementia. At Co.As.It. Sydney, we are committed to educating our community about the signs and symptoms of dementia, in order to promote both early intervention and better access to support services.
Dementia is an umbrella term that refers to a range of diseases that affect cognitive functioning. Dementia affects someone’s memory, thinking and reasoning skills, leading to difficulties with daily living. It can be challenging to identify dementia, as the symptoms can be similar to those of other mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety or sleep disorders. However, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of dementia, to get the right support in place.
Memory loss is the most well-known symptom of dementia and a key sign that there may be some cognitive decline occurring. Memory loss might manifest in individuals forgetting important information, names of family members or more recently learned information. While it is normal to occasionally forget names or appointments, people with dementia will be experiencing memory loss frequently or at a level that is impacting their daily life.
Other symptoms associated with dementia that might be noticeable to others include language issues, such as difficulty saying words or repeating phrases. Additionally, people with dementia might be disoriented, forgetting places, dates or locations, which can lead to feelings of confusion or struggles with everyday tasks. In these situations, someone with the early stages of dementia may require individualised at-home support, which can be provided by Co.As.It. and our skilled care staff. Further, at Co.As.It. we run dementia-specific Social Support Groups, supporting the social needs of our community members living with dementia, and ensuring they can connect with others in a safe environment.
Finally, changes in mood and personality can be key symptoms of dementia. Specifically, individuals can become more irritable, anxious or exhibit some uncharacteristic behaviour that doesn’t reflect their usual selves. Alternatively, some people might become more withdrawn and appear down. In these cases, it is important to distinguish between dementia and depression, as they can sometimes be confused. Appropriate dementia screening, done with a psychologist or psychiatrist, can provide clarity in these cases. Co.As.It. can also assist with organising referral to relevant health professionals who can make these assessments.
Recognising the signs and symptoms of dementia is critical, because then early intervention can be provided. At Co.As.It., we are committed to providing a range of services to assist individuals living with dementia and their families. Whether you’re seeking advice, information, or assistance in accessing specialized dementia care, Co.As.It. is here to help. You can contact us on 9564 0744 or at firstname.lastname@example.org