Dementia Action Week 13th-19th May 2024

Posted by: lynn - Posted on:

Dementia Action Week 13th-19th May 2024.

Dementia Action Week is an awareness raising campaign. Each year, Alzheimer’s Society works with individuals and organisations across the UK to encourage people to act on dementia.

Is it getting older or dementia?

It’s a normal sign of ageing to become more forgetful. Find out how for someone with dementia, changes will be different and affect their life more.

How is normal ageing different from dementia?

As people get older, they are likely to notice some changes in their mental abilities. Though these changes can be frustrating, they are a natural part of ageing.

Dementia is not a normal part of getting older.

When a person has dementia, this worsening in mental abilities is much more serious. For a health professional to diagnose dementia, a person’s symptoms must be significantly affecting their daily life. This means having difficulties with completing daily tasks about the house, in the community or at work. 

Normal signs of ageing

People often forget things more as they get older. Most often this is a normal sign of ageing. What you consider to be a problem depends partly on what you need or expect to be able to do.

Some very common problems include:

  • forgetting people’s names
  • struggling to remember day-to-day events or experiences
  • misplacing items (such as keys or glasses) around the house
  • getting lost in a familiar place or on a familiar journey
  • finding it hard to start or follow conversations
  • forgetting appointments or important dates (such as birthdays)
  • struggling with the steps in a recipe

Many people worry that these are early signs of dementia. For most people, this is not the case.

Symptoms of dementia

Dementia is a group of symptoms. It’s caused by different diseases that damage the brain.

The symptoms of dementia may be small to start with, but get worse over time and include:

The difference between normal ageing and dementia

These tables show the main symptoms of the most common types of dementia, which are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. People with these conditions are likely to have at least some of these symptoms, although they may not have all of them.

Less common types of dementia, like dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), may share some of these symptoms. However, their main symptoms are different and are not shown in these tables.

The changes in the tables below may also be caused by other health conditions. For this reason, it’s important not to use these tables to try to diagnose dementia in yourself or someone else.

Dementia can only be diagnosed by a qualified health professional