Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of symptoms that occur when brain cells stop functioning properly. The symptoms of dementia vary from person to person, but usually involve changes significant enough to affect a person’s ability to engage in Day-to-day activity under the following three domains:
- Cognition: (memory, thinking, language)
- Behaviour (mood, personality, social skills)
- Physical functioning (movement, visual field changes, coordination, balance, etc)
The five most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease
, Vascular Dementia
, Dementia with Lewy bodies
, Frontotemporal Dementia
and Mixed Dementia
. Regardless of which type is diagnosed and which parts of the brain are affected, each person tends to experience dementia in their own unique way.
Dementia can affect a person at any age but it is more commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 65. A person who develops dementia before the age of 65 is said to have Young Onset Dementia. There are nearly 24,000 people over the age of 65 in the Ottawa and Renfrew region who are living with dementia and in the next decade it will double (LHIN dementia capacity planning report). Of the people living with dementia, 3-5% are of younger onset.
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