WHAT IS DEMENTIA?

It is the name for a group of illnesses where a constant slow decrease in a person’s cognition and mental capacity can be seen.  Symptoms can include the gradual signs of unusual:

  • Memory loss, including losing things continually.
  • Loss of enthusiasm or initiative for things one usually enjoys.
  • Forgetting people or places they used to know.
  • Displaying changes in behaviour i.e. purchasing items that aren’t necessary, fixated on certain things or  topics.
  • Problems with articulating certain words.
  • Difficulty with using money, bank cards, phones or devices.
  • Stressing when driving the car at certain times, intersections or places.
  • Unpredictable mood swings, aggression, fearful or inappropriate behaviour for the setting.
  • Difficulty in following instructions.
  • Inability to think ahead or plan.

WHAT IS YOUNGER ONSET DEMENTIA?

This refers to someone who has developed a form of dementia under the age of 65 years.

HISTORY OF DEMENTIA

Did you know that the word ‘dementia’ comes from the Latin word ‘demens’ which translated literally means ‘without mind’.  The dementia of early onset has actually been around since the mid-nineteenth century, when it was first deemed a medical condition.  Even over sixty years ago, the symptoms of the disease were associated with cognitive impairment, memory decline and a decline in social functioning.  In the early 1900’s Dr Alois Alzheimer published a paper identifying dementia symptoms, and thus the name was born.

ALLEVIATE’S PLAN FOR YOUNGER ONSET DEMENTIA SUFFERERS

Over the years the attitude to people with dementia has been changing.  Those who suffer from the illness, are no longer viewed as unfortunate victims that need to be locked away in a facility, but as fellow human beings capable of participating in activities and enjoying life.

“Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”

Even though recovery from dementia remains unfounded after centuries of research, we still can make a difference to sufferers and their families by providing quality of life.

2017 statistics revealed that there are over 413,000 people living with dementia in Australia.  Of these, almost 26,000 have Younger Onset Dementia.  The number of sufferers in Australia is predicted to double within 7 years.  Given the current and future prevalence of the disease, society can aid sufferers by working towards a model of care that aims at inclusion, rather than the model of containment and stereotyping.

Join with us to put an end to the stigma associated with dementia.  Help us to bring awareness to the disease, and help the sufferers have a hope for the future and a better quality of  life.