Dementia is a general term for a decline in cognitive ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is not a specific disease but rather an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Over 55 million people are living with dementia worldwide, with the number expected to nearly double every 20 years. Over 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. This number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million by 2050. Dementia mainly affects older adults, but younger-onset dementia is also becoming increasingly recognised.
Many people think that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are the same thing, but both are different. Think of dementia like a big umbrella. It covers many different conditions that cause memory decline and make it hard to do daily activities. It’s like a general term for different types of rain.
Alzheimer’s disease is one specific type of disease under the dementia umbrella. It’s the most common cause of dementia, affecting memory, thinking, and behaviour. It’s like a heavy downpour, getting worse over time.
Tips to Prevent Dementia
Preventing dementia involves several lifestyle factors, such as maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular physical exercise, staying mentally and socially active, managing cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes, ensuring good sleep quality, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
Keeping the brain active through activities such as reading, puzzles, learning new skills, or engaging in hobbies can also contribute to preventing cognitive decline. Regular check-ups with healthcare professionals are essential for the early detection and management of any underlying conditions that may contribute to dementia.