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Dementia is a group of symptoms known as a syndrome that is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities which can include memory loss, the way of thinking and understanding of what is being communicated and also the change in language which they may not normally use. People with dementia may also become apathetic, finding it difficult to control how they are feeling or have problems behaving appropriately in social settings/situations. Different types of dementia may also make their personalities change or hear or see things which are not really there.

These problems are caused because of damage to a person structure of their brain. People with dementia may find it hard to make decisions for themselves which is why they will require help from either family, friends or even placed in a care home. 1.2 Describe the key functions of the brain that are affected by dementia There are different functions of the brain which are or can be affected with dementia these can include:

Memory

People with dementia can lose their memory. They may be able to remember what has happened in their past but may not be able to remember what has happened a day or two ago. This may be confusing for them as they will not understand where they are, how they got to where they are or even if their husband/wife has passed away.

Thinking

This function can be also be affected by dementia. A person suffering from dementia may think that there is something or someone who they can see which is not rally there. They may also hear things which do not really exist as nobody else can hear what they are hearing. This will then make them think that a family member or friend is lying to them by telling them that there is nothing there, which can lead to them feeling anxious or aggressive.

Language

Individuals with dementia may suffer from language problems. This may be due to previous diseases such as strokes. Those with language barriers may find it difficult to communicate with others; this would leave them feeling isolated and/ or frustrated. Another common factor of language due to dementia may include the individual having problems finding the right words to say in order to express how they are feeling or finding the right words to describe something.

Understanding

The understanding of an individual with dementia may change significantly due to the loss of their memory being affected. They may not be able to understand why they are in a care setting or why a loved one is no longer there. This may be a frustrating or emotional aspect of their dementia for this reason.

Judgment

People with dementia may also have the problem of judging how close or far away something may be to them causing them to have persistent falls ect. They may come into difficulties involving judgement as their attention spam may be low or find it difficult judging the emotions of others. 1.3 Explain why depression, delirium and age related memory impairment may be mistaken for common causes of dementia Everyone can suffer from all of the above without having dementia and this is why it is easily confused.

Depression: Older Generation Older people are most commonly confused as having dementia as they may feel that their family no longer need them due to them having their own families. This can make the older generation feeling useless leading them to be depressed because they are used to be so busy and active looking after everyone.

Depression: Younger Generation The younger generation can also be mistaken as having dementia due to them also being depressed. Younger people like to feel useful whether it be around the house for their parents or doing messages for friends. However, unlike the older generation the younger generation do not know that this is what may be missing in their everyday life.

Delirium This is another common symptom of dementia which can easily be confused. Individuals with delirium may be confused due to an infection which they may have including a urinary tract infection (UTI) or another common cause of delirium is dehydration.

Memory Impairment Memory impairment is another known cause which may be mistaken for dementia. Memory impairment is an ageing process which always results in memory loss mostly common in the older generation.

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