Each person is unique and will experience dementia in their own way. The different types of dementia tend to affect people differently, especially in the early stages. In the later stages the symptoms become more similar. This is because more of the brain becomes affected as the different diseases progress. How others respond to the person and how supportive or enabling the person’s surroundings are, also greatly affect how well someone can live with dementia.
Symptoms often include problems with some of the following:
- memory (especially short-term) – forgetting names, places, conversations and appointments
- carrying out everyday tasks such as handling money or finding the right bus
- language – difficulties following a conversation or finding the right word for something
- visual perception – the different ways people interpret what they see.
- orientation – losing track of the day or date or becoming confused about where they are.
In the later stages of dementia, the person will need more support to carry out everyday tasks. However, many people with dementia maintain their independence and live well for years after their diagnosis.