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Dementia: fact file

Monday 8th September

Here you'll find answers to some frequently asked questions about memory loss, and dementia.

Q: What is dementia?

A: Dementia is a term applied to a number of symptoms including memory loss, problems with communicating and reasoning, and issues with everyday things such as washing, dressing and caring for oneself.

Q: Are there different types of dementia?

A: Yes, there are and the most common are:

Q: How common is it?

A: According to figures released by the Department of Health in 2013, there are some 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK. Some will not yet have been diagnosed. Current predictions estimate that this figure will rise to 1.7 million within 40 years.

Q: How common is Alzheimer's disease?

A: In almost two-thirds (62%) of cases, dementia is caused by Alzheimer's disease. Some people have Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, and are diagnosed as having “mixed dementia”.

Q: Who is most likely to get dementia?

A: It can affect both men and women, though it is more common in women who make up two-thirds of patients. It mainly occurs in later life; however, in the UK there are 15,000 people under 65 who have been diagnosed with the condition.

Q: What is the dementia friends campaign about?

A: You may well have seen the TV advert featuring celebrities such as Sir Terry Pratchett, Chris Martin, Lily Allen and Ray Winstone singing the famous Beatles number “With a little help from my friends”. They are supporting a joint campaign between Alzheimer's Society and Public Health England, which hopes to recruit one million “dementia friends” to raise awareness and understanding of the condition. Sign up as a dementia friend online and you'll be sent a free information pack.

Further information

You'll find additional articles from benenden health on mental wellbeing and dementia issues at A Healthier You.

For details of World Alzheimer's Awareness month, visit Alzheimer's Society.

Did you know that members of benenden health have access to our 24-hour GP advice line 

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