What is vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia is a common type of dementia, caused by a disruption in blood flow to the brain. This deprives it of oxygen and nutrients and as a result can damage and eventually kill brain cells.

Though not always the case, strokes are a common instigator of vascular dementia, causing blood vessels to become blocked or narrow. This can also be linked to other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and lifestyle behaviours such as drinking alcohol or smoking.

Symptoms of vascular dementia

Though different in everybody, common symptoms of vascular dementia include forgetfulness, difficulty in communication, problems with concentration and issues with coordination.

Symptoms can develop slowly or appear suddenly, so even if you detect a slight change in yours or a family members behaviour, it’s important to get checked out. In order to diagnose you, your doctor might carry out a series of cognitive tests, look at your medical history and assess any changes in brain activity.

Whilst there is currently no cure for vascular dementia, its progression can be slowed down with the right care. For many, care at home is a popular choice, allowing for a sense of normality, receiving care that fits around you and your life.

At Audley, we provide at home care that is personal to you and your situation, with the right level of support to assist you in your day-to-day life.

Difference between dementia and vascular dementia

Dementia refers to a group of syndromes that are linked to the decline in someone’s cognitive function. There are many types of dementia, usually occurring as a result of different medical causes.

The most widely recognised types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Whilst the causes of Alzheimer’s are less defined and understood, vascular dementia, as mentioned is linked to changes in blood vessels.

People with Alzheimer’s will often also have vascular dementia.

How fast does vascular dementia progress?

Unfortunately, vascular dementia gets progressively worse over time. The speed in which this happens can be different in every individual, depending on other existing medical conditions, lifestyle and care available. Often, people will refer to the seven stages of vascular dementia. This describes the journey of decline from normal behaviour, forgetfulness and mild decline, through to a more sever decline in cognitive abilities.

Though there is no way or repairing damage caused by lost brain cell, if diagnosed early enough, it is possible to slow down the speed of the progression of vascular dementia. Treatment usually includes the two approaches relating to the management of the vascular dementia progression, and the prevention of future decline. This can include medication-based treatment for any medical conditions you might have, as well as treatment that is based more on your lifestyle and day to day activities.

Changes to your behaviour such as eating a more balanced diet, regularly exercising and cutting down on alcohol can all have a positive effect on slowing down the progression of vascular dementia.

At Audley, we offer a number of at home services to help make life easier for you, including medication assistance, meal preparation, help with getting up and going to bed, as well as general assistance with tasks you might be struggling with.

How can home care services help?

All types of dementia can have a negative effect on an individual’s mental capabilities. This may cause things such as changes in mood, personality, and even a lack of interest in social activity. Whilst some individuals with dementia might need help with the odd daily tasks, others may find themselves increasingly reliant on other people to help them look after themselves.

Here at Audley, we understand that everyone is different, and our staff are professionally trained to provide the best at home care for all types of dementia. We understand that we all need a helping hand sometimes, and we’re available any time to provide you with care that allows you to live your life.

Whether you’re in need of some help, a lot of help, or even just some company throughout the day, no job is too small for our care assistants. We are happy to visit you in the comfort of your own home if you find it easier to speak to someone face to face.