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Last updated Tuesday, 2nd Nov 2010

If you, or a friend or relative, have been diagnosed with dementia, you may be feeling anxious or confused. You may not know what dementia is.

The term 'dementia' is used to describe the symptoms that occur when the brain is affected by specific diseases and conditions. These include Alzheimer's disease and sometimes occur as a result of a stroke.

Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will gradually get worse. How fast dementia progresses will depend on the individual. Each person is unique and will experience dementia in their own way.

Symptoms of dementia

These include:

Loss of memory − for example, forgetting the way home from the shops, or being unable to remember names and places, or what happened earlier the same day.

Mood changes − particularly as parts of the brain that control emotion are affected by disease. People with dementia may also feel sad, frightened or angry about what is happening to them.

Communication problems − a decline in the ability to talk, read and write.

In the later stages of dementia, the person affected will have problems carrying out everyday tasks, and will become increasingly dependent on other people.

Alzheimer's Society

The Alzheimer's Society provides information and support for people with dementia and those that support them.

Alzheimer's Society National Dementia Helpline 0845 300 0336

Dementia Web - Kent and Medway

Dementia Web - Dementia Information Resource for Kent and Medway is a website dedicated to helping people find the information and support they need when living with dementia.

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