What is dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term that covers over 200 subtypes of dementia, the most common being Alzheimer’s Disease. The definition of dementia describes a progressive condition characterised by abnormal brain changes resulting in decreased thinking skills (cognitive ability), memory and changes in behaviour. These symptoms interfere with a person’s daily life and ability to complete normal activities.

! Did you know !

Every three seconds someone in the world is diagnosed with Dementia.

What Causes Dementia?

Dementia is a condition that affects the brain cells (neurones). By damaging these cells, dementia impairs their ability to send messages to one another, which in turn negatively affects the brain’s ability to do certain tasks, resulting in dementia symptoms. As dementia is a progressive condition, as time goes on more neurones get damaged and die. This means the effected brain areas shrink and symptoms get progressively worse in the later stages of dementia.

Different types of dementia are caused by a variety of symptoms. With many types of dementia, we still aren’t sure what causes the damage to brain cells, but for others we have a better idea. For example, Vascular Dementia (the second most common type of dementia) is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, often as a result of a stroke or series of small strokes.

The Brain Tour

The Brain Tour

How to cope with caring for a person with dementia

Communication can be hard for people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias because they have trouble remembering things. They also can become agitated and anxious, even angry. In some forms of dementia, language abilities are affected such that people have trouble finding the right words or have difficulty speaking. You may feel frustrated or impatient, but it is important to understand that the disease is causing the change in communication skills. To help make communication easier, you can:

Reassure the person. Speak calmly. Listen to his or her concerns and frustrations. Try to show that you understand if the person is angry or fearful.

  • Allow the person to keep as much control in his or her life as possible.
  • Respect the person’s personal space.
  • Build quiet times into the day, along with activities.
  • Keep well-loved objects and photographs around the house to help the person feel more secure.
  • Remind the person who you are if he or she doesn’t remember, but try not to say, “Don’t you remember?”
  • Encourage a two-way conversation for as long as possible.
  • Try distracting the person with an activity, such as a familiar book or photo album, if you are having trouble communicating with words.

Tips for everyday care for people with dementia

Early on in Alzheimer’s and related dementias, people experience changes in thinking, remembering, and reasoning in a way that affects daily life and activities. Eventually, people with these diseases will need more help with simple, everyday tasks. This may include bathing, grooming, and dressing. It may be upsetting to the person to need help with such personal activities. Here are a few tips to consider early on and as the disease progresses:

  • Try to keep a routine, such as bathing, dressing, and eating at the same time each day.
  • Help the person write down to-do lists, appointments, and events in a notebook or calendar.
  • Plan activities that the person enjoys and try to do them at the same time each day.
  • Consider a system or reminders for helping those who must take medications regularly.
  • When dressing or bathing, allow the person to do as much as possible.
  • Buy loose-fitting, comfortable, easy-to-use clothing, such as clothes with elastic waistbands, fabric fasteners, or large zipper pulls instead of shoelaces, buttons, or buckles.
  • Use a sturdy shower chair to support a person who is unsteady and to prevent falls. You can buy shower chairs at drug stores and medical supply stores.
  • Be gentle and respectful. Tell the person what you are going to do, step by step while you help them bathe or get dressed.
  • Serve meals in a consistent, familiar place and give the person enough time to eat.

How can Home Angels help?

Home Angels has a database of Carers who have been trained to assist patients facing a range of different ailments. Their studies consist of theoretical and hands-on training. On average these ladies have 7 years’ experience in home care for the elderly and frail.


Are you or your loved one living with dementia? Do you feel alone and overwhelmed in your journey with this condition? If so, we invite you to join our dementia support group.

Our group provides a sae and supportive environment for individuals and caregivers living with dementia. Through sharing experiences and learning from one another, we aim to reduce isolation, provide emotional support, and empower participants.

Our agenda includes engaging discussions, education on various aspects of dementia, and social activities.

We welcome all members of our community to join us in this important endeavour. Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with dementia for some time, we believe that we can benefit from each other’s insights and experiences.

You don’t have to go through this journey alone. Join us and find comfort and support in our dementia support group.

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