What Is Dementia?

We need healthy brain cells to help us in caring out our daily activities using our intelligence and memory to do so.

Can you imagine what will happen if our cells gradually die? We will be forgetful. We will not be able to work efficiently and effectively or look after our personal needs.

This is exactly what happens to people who develop Dementia. In Dementia, there is a progressive degeneration of brain cells.

Who gets affected?

Dementia more commonly affects the elderly people. As people grow older there is a higher chance of developing dementia. Even people in middle age can develop the disease.

What causes Dementia?

Often the cause is difficult to identify or is not known. Some patients with Dementia suffer from high blood pressure & disease of blood vessels in the brain. Whatever the cause is, the basic problem is the death of brain cells more rapidly than due to normal again.

What are symptoms of Dementia?

Forgetfulness is one of the earliest symptoms. The family members notice the patient losing personal belongings because he/ she forgets where it has been kept. Forgetting recent happenings is also common. The person is unable to recall a visit by someone today, but will talk in details about his/ her school days. Therefore often this is misinterpreted as having a good memory. Lack of concentration, changes in behaviour and character are usual. A previously shy person may lose his/her inhibitions.

Can they be treated?

No effective treatment is available and the disease gradually progresses. If you are
looking after someone with Dementia, it is important for you to understand that
looking for a cure or to prevent progress is a waste of time. It is much better for
you to accept that your family member has Dementia and prepare yourself to give
the care he/ she needs long term and also organize some personal support for

  • Share the responsibility with other relatives
  • Have breaks from responsibility especi ally when you feel stressed or
  • Get your doctor to prescribe medicines if the patient is not sleeping or is
    restless. The patient should be helped to sleep at night so that you get rest
    and they are prevented from harm.
  • Regularly toilet the patient so that you are spared of having to do extra
  • Talk to your doctor or someone who will understand the problem you face
  • Get legal advice about property belonging to the person suffering from

Mission : Fulfilling the mental health information needs of public through increased access to accurate information effectively and efficient delivered with established ethics.
Vision : The realization of optimum mental health of Sri Lankan community.

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