Often brought on by strokes and damage to the brain.
- a slowing of though
- difficulty with every day planning and understanding of life, activities and self care
- problems concentrating
- feeling disorientated and confused with previously familiar things
- behavioural changes and mood swings
- gradual reduction in walking ability and balance
- memory problems
- language difficulties
In the first stages of dementia, people may be able to mask their condition by developing coping strategies like list making, memory reminders, alarms in their phones, labelling items and cupboards etc. Day to day activities can become difficult and unfamiliar, increasing to the point that friends and family members may begin to notice a difference in their ability to care for themselves safely.
What do I do if I think I have dementia?
How will I know I have vascular dementia?
- By talking to you, your GP will assess your symptoms, to find out if they match possible symptoms of vascular dementia.
- Your medical notes and history will be consulted, to determine past history of stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Your mental cognitive function may be tested by a range of tasks and activities, which might include some simple drawing tasks, answering questions and remembering simple facts.
- The GP will likely schedule a brain scan like and MRI or CT Scan or SPECT, to look for damage to blood vessels in the brain.
What will my GP do for me if I am diagnosed with vascular dementia?
- eating well
- regulating your weight to avoid sharp gains or loses, and maintaining a healthy body
- stopping smoking
- taking exercise
- removing or cutting back on alcohol
You may be prescribed medicine to help prevent further damage to brain cells, such as tablets for high blood pressure, to lower cholesterol, or prevent blood clots from forming.
How will I live with vascular dementia?
- Help in your own home.
- Living with a friend or relative.
- Moving to a Care Home or Nursing Home.
Can I die from vascular dementia?
Dementia is considered a terminal disease among caregivers. Life expectancy will fall, but the outcome is not predictable. Other diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, strokes and falls may shorten life while the dementia barely progresses.
How did I get vascular dementia?
As this is a disease brought on by blood flow to the brain being affected, the damage destroys brain cells. The brain cells can be damaged by a blood clot, massive stroke or multiple mini strokes.