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5 Myths About Dementia

Posted by Amanda Low on

What Exactly is Dementia?

Do you know that dementia affects about 10% of those aged 60 and above in Singapore? 

Here are 5 myths of dementia that people commonly think is true:

 

Myth #1: Dementia is just about forgetfulness.

Contrary to popular belief, dementia is not just about forgetfulness. In fact, memory loss is just one of the many symptoms of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease, but a term that reflects a wide range of symptoms, including memory loss, changes in personality, confusion with time and place, et cetera.

 

Myth #2: Dementia is merely part and parcel of old age.

While age is one of the greatest known factors of dementia, dementia is not a normal process of ageing. dementia is a medical condition that affects people - with old age increasing the risk of having it. There are in fact many people ageing well into their 80s and 90s without having dementia.

 

Myth #3: Nothing can be done to help the condition.

As of now, there is no known cure for dementia. There are, however, methods available to slow down the progression of its symptoms. These methods range from clinical drugs to activities you can do with the dementia patient.

 

Myth #4: Dementia = Alzheimer’s

Dementia is not Alzheimer’s, but Alzheimer’s is one of the many types of dementia. In fact, Alzheimer’s is one of the most common types of dementia, as well as Parkinson’s Disease, Vascular Dementia and Lewy Body Dementia.

 

Myth #5: People with Dementia do not know what they want.

While people with dementia experience confusion occasionally, they oftentimes do know what they want. As dementia affects their ability to communicate what they want effectively, it is easy to mistake that as them not knowing what they want. Patience is key when dealing with people with dementia - to understand their likes and dislikes, take notes on their behavioural changes, so as to understand the cause(s) of their distress.

How, then, would you know if you are at risk of having dementia? You may be at risk of having Dementia if you identify with one or more of the following:

  • You have a family history of dementia.

  • You have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and/or diabetes.

  • You have had a traumatic brain injury from accidents (e.g. falls, road accidents).

  • You have been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

The contents of this blog post is not complete nor exhaustive, and hence not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For an accurate reflection, please visit a professional medical care provider. Should you require any assistance, you can visit the Alzheimer’s Disease Association or call their helpline at 6377-0700.

Information for the creation of this blog post is obtained from:

Dementia Support, California.

Alzheimer’s Association

Institute of Mental Health (2015)

Also, keep a look out for our next blog post: 10 Warning Signs of Dementia.


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