The word 'dementia' covers a range of diseases or disorders affecting the brain. It comes in different forms, the commonest being Alzheimer's disease and vascular disease.
Symptoms include loss of memory, confusion, and changes in personality, mood and behaviour. Experiencing these symptoms can also cause people with dementia to be afraid, anxious, depressed, frustrated or angry.
The ability of people with dementia to look after themselves can become increasingly affected, and they can become increasingly unsafe when by themselves as their ability to make everyday decisions becomes affected.
Dementia usually affects older people and becomes more common with age, although it can develop in younger people. It is important to remember that developing dementia is not a normal part of growing old and that only a minority of older people are affected. At the same more people are now affected by dementia than before because we are living longer.
It is also important to remember that whilst you may feel you are having problems with your memory or other age-related issues, this does not necessarily mean that you are getting dementia. Forgetting the occasional name or face is normal.