Dementia seems to be one of the illnesses that are evident all around us. It is one of the main considerations people who contact a Power of Attorney Cheltenham business such as https://beesandco.com/our-services/power-of-attorney-cheltenham/ when having LPAs drawn up. One key requirement of a Legal Power of Attorney is that the individual request one to be established has mental capacity to make the decision held within it. Once you have been diagnosed with a progressive illness such as dementia, capacity may then come into question. There are a number of reasons that the instances of dementia may appear to be on the increase – we report these more readily than before, people are living for longer and we have more of an understanding of these illnesses and can pick up the symptoms a lot earlier than we could do in the past. In terms of the numbers of people diagnosed each year this has in fact been on a steady decline over the last 30 years at a rate of around 15% per decade. This has been attributed to the fact that more people are aware of their cardiovascular health and smoking habits have also changed dramatically.
There are a number of key charities throughout the world that conduct research and fundraising to help individuals living with dementia and their families. They all want us to understand the same things about dementia:
- It is not an inevitable part of aging – forgetfulness may come with age but it not a given that everyone will be diagnosed with dementia as a natural part of the aging process and there have been people in their 20s and 30s that have been diagnosed with dementia based conditions and in the UK alone around 40,000 people under the age of 65 have been diagnosed with dementia.
- Dementia is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of different diseases such as Alzheimers and vascular dementia.
- The diseases that come under the banner of Dementia do not just affect a person’s memory. They can have an impact on a number of different areas including their ability to communicate, their perception of the environment around them, fine motor skills and problems with movement and balance. Not everyone will experience the same symptoms or to the same degree as another individual with the same dementia diagnosis.
- Dementia is in fact the leading cause of death in the UK with the figure being around 12% of all deaths reported.