Dementia is a wide term which is used for a range of progressive conditions that affect the brain. Though it can affect people of any age but most commonly in the UK, it is seen in people above the age of 65. There are 850,000 people affected by this disease in the UK which is about to rise to 1 million by 2025 (Nhs.uk. 2020).
The reason behind the spread of this disease in the United Kingdom is mainly the increasing life expectancy. As people tend to live longer due to medical advancement, people tend to survive heart diseases and strokes and also cancer. Hence, the number of people being affected by dementia is also increasing due to growing age. It has also been recorded by the ONS in 2018 that, dementia has been the leading cause of death among the old age in the UK and has listed 12.8% of death certificates (Nhs.uk. 2020). The Death registration summary table released by ONS in 2019 has placed dementia in the second position and the reason for the growth of this disease is still under research (Refer Appendix Figure 1). But increased life expectancy has been so far reported to be the main cause for the rise of the disease.
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As per the report of the World Health Organisation, dementia affects every person differently which depends on the impact of the disease on the person before falling ill. The signs and symptom of this disease can be well understood in three stages which are as follows:
Along with the symptoms, WHO has also identified the people who are affected by this disease (World Health Organization. 2020). It has also recognised the cause of the disease along with the cost for its treatment (Refer Appendix Figure 2).
The investigation for the diagnosis of dementia may be done through various tests and diagnosis of the brain like:
There is no prescribed cure for the treatment of dementia but there are medicines which can help deal with the symptom. The main medicines used are:
Apart from medicines, there are also alternate remedies available for the treatment of dementia which includes the treatment through therapies.
In case of depression is the reason for the disease, the doctor may prescribe antidepressants like Fluoxetine (Chalfont, et. al., 2019).
Complications associated with dementia may include the following:
Major complication due to dementia may include the following:
At the end stage of life, it shall be easier for the patient if person-centred care is provided which shall completely focus on what the patient wants and what he needs. This type of care shall help know the likes and dislikes of the patients and also the type of care they want from the acre givers (Dementia UK. 2020). Other ways relating to care in the end stage of dementia include:
In the United Kingdom, various organisations are working to support the families of patients who are suffering from dementia or has lost their life due to the disease. One such organisation registered in England and Wales is Dementia UK. The organisation provides the facility of nurse for the caretaking of the patient suffering from the disease. Further, the organisation also raises funds for providing financial support to the family of patients. The government of the United Kingdom also provides the facility of benefits calculator where the families of the patients can calculate the benefits for which they are entitled (Dementia UK. 2020). Further, the government has also introduced attendance allowances for the patients who are suffering from the disease to given financial support to them and their family members.
Alzheimer's Society. 2020. The UK'S Biggest Killer: Why Are Deaths from Dementia on The Rise? [Online] Available at: <https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/blog/research-dementia-UK-biggest-killer-on-the-rise#:~:text=Due%20to%20medical%20advances%2C%20more,people%20developing%20dementia%20is%20increasing.> [Accessed 11th November 2020].
Chalfont, G., Simpson, J., Davies, S., Morris, D., Wilde, R., Willoughby, L. and Milligan, C., 2019. Personalised Medicine for Dementia: Collaborative Research of Multimodal Non-pharmacological Treatment with the UK National Health Service (NHS). OBM Geriatrics, 3(3).
Dementia UK. 2020. Sources of Support and Advice - Dementia UK. [Online] Available at: <https://www.dementiauk.org/get-support/diagnosis-and-next-steps/sources-of-support-and-advice/> [Accessed 11th November 2020].
Herron, D.L., Priest, H.M. and Read, S., 2020. Supporting people with an intellectual disability and dementia: A constructivist grounded theory study exploring care providers' views and experiences in the UK. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities.
Nhs.uk. 2020. Causes of Dementia. [Online] Available at: <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/causes/> [Accessed 11th November 2020].
Reeves, C., Lillie, A.K. and Burrow, S., 2019. End-of-life care for people with dementia in the UK care homes. Journal of Community Nursing, 33(2).
World Health Organization. 2020. Infographic on Dementia. [Online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/mental_health/neurology/dementia/infographic_dementia/en/> [Accessed 11th November 2020].
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