A friend dropped in today to return a plate I had taken with a birthday cake on it to her husband before Christmas last year… and as she was departing she realised she had forgotten the plate, as had I until she mentioned it! She says she has ‘fuzzy hormonal brain’, but we both laughed as she asked me who it is that has dementia! And as I’ve been struggling with writing any sort of half intelligent blog today, I thought this could be my topic!
As we chatted, I realised these are the sorts of experiences that exacerbate the myths about dementia, especially if you can still function in any way, then you can’t have dementia – and – if you forget your keys or a plate occasionally, you must be going to get dementia. Of course, the latter is usually normal memory loss one gets with ageing, and unless this type of memory loss and/or at least two other cognitive deficits mean you are impaired enough that it get in the way of daily living, then it is unlikely you have dementia.
In very simple terms dementia is an umbrella term, just like the word fruit, or a syndrome, and there are over 200 types or causes of dementia. Dementia of the Alzheimer’s type makes up approximately half of all dementias, but even under that name, there are different types of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a dementia, another of the many myths about dementia.