Learn more about dementia

Dementia is a disease that changes the lives and everyday life of many families in Denmark. It is estimated that around 87,000 people aged 65 or over are living with dementia in Denmark.

Dementia changes the lives and daily routines of thousands of Danes every year. For many, it is a difficult disease to deal with, and it can be a difficult and tough situation for both the person with dementia and their relatives. In this case, private nursing care could help the person with dementia and their relatives.

What is dementia?

Dementia is an generic term for a number of brain diseases characterized by continuous deterioration of cognitive functions. For example, Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory problems are often one of the symptoms of dementia, but there are actually more symptoms, which we will explain in the next section. Dementia is caused by disease and not ageing, as previously thought. However, for many patients, dementia comes late in life.

Dementia is a disease that is often insidious and it can be difficult to determine whether the patient is ill at first. As mentioned, the majority of patients first develop dementia late in life, but dementia can also affect younger people. The two most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Although there are currently medicines available to treat dementia, they can only delay or alleviate the symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia.

Symptoms of dementia

Many people associate dementia with memory impairment, but as mentioned above, there are several symptoms of dementia. Symptoms of dementia include:

  • Impairment of cognitive functions, such as memory
  • Problems with language and speech
  • Uncertainty about time and place/orientation
  • Difficulty performing practical tasks
  • Mood swings
  • Change of personality
  • Lack of motivation and initiative
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • More angry and aggressive than usual
  • Deterioration of practical functioning in everyday life

There are a number of symptoms of dementia. In addition, many people with dementia often withdraw from social situations because they do not fully understand what is happening around them anymore.

What causes dementia?

Unfortunately, in most cases of dementia, there is no explanation for what caused the disease. However, several studies have shown that factors such as genetics and lifestyle may play a role in determining who develops dementia. However, this also depends on the different types of dementia.

Studies have shown that high blood pressure, lack of exercise, diabetes, obesity, low or no education, smoking, depression and social isolation are all factors that can increase the risk of developing dementia. A 2020 review of research on dementia has shown that high alcohol intake, concussions, hearing loss and air pollution can also increase the risk of dementia.

It is the development of vascular dementia, resulting from a bleed or a blood clot in the brain, which is particularly influenced by lifestyle.

As mentioned, genes can also be a factor in the development of dementia. In Alzheimer’s disease, the heritability is only 1-3%, while in frontotemporal dementia the heritability is 40%.

In Denmark, it is estimated that dementia is the fourth leading cause of death in Denmark. On average, a person with dementia dies 5-8 years after being diagnosed.

Dementia treatment

As mentioned, there is no cure for dementia, but there are medicines that can alleviate or delay symptoms. But first and foremost, it is important to get a diagnosis of dementia so that the patient can receive the right treatment.

The first tests are often done by a general doctor, who may refer you for further tests by, for example, a neurologist or psychiatrist. Often CT scans or MRI scans are used to obtain images of the structure of the brain.

In some cases, medication can relieve symptoms, which can help to make everyday life easier and better for both the patient and their relatives.

Private nursing care for people with dementia

A private nurse will be able to help the person with dementia and their relatives. Choose a nursing care agency that has experience in providing customized care with a focus on relieving the burden of everyday life for family members.

Click here to see hourly rates for private nursing care.