IHC Blog post about dementia

Dear friends

Dementia is not a specific illness; rather, it’s a broad term encompassing the decline in one’s capacity to remember, think, or make decisions, which can hinder daily functioning.

Potential signs pointing towards dementia include getting disoriented in familiar surroundings, using unusual terms for common objects, forgetting the names of close family members or friends, experiencing memory lapses, and struggling to complete tasks independently.



On 27 September 2022 Isisa Healthcare Facilitators attended a seminar called “Walking the Road with Dementia” at Ridgecrest Family Church.

Debbie Shale, one of our facilitators, compiled this report for us:

Isisa facilitators spent a wonderful day at Ridgecrest Family Church on 27/9/2023 attending a seminar called ‘Walking the road with dementia’ 

It was especially designed for individuals with dementia, their families and caregivers. 

We listened to many guest speakers including a doctor, a social worker, a speech therapist, registered nurses, an occupational therapist, community developers, an owner of a care home, an owner of a funeral home and support group leaders. 

They all offered their wealth of knowledge and expertise covering many areas around dementia which included:

  • The reality of living with a loved one with dementia
  • The challenges of diagnosing dementia
  • Tips for struggling caregivers
  • Carer dilemmas upon hospital admission
  • Issues around meals
  • Care interventions without medication
  • Activity ideas
  • When to consider a professional care facility
  • Managing anticipatory grief 

Thank you to Isisa Home Nursing Care for providing us with this wonderful opportunity to attend this seminar. 

Thank you to the organizers of this event, we learnt so much and feel empowered. We look forward to many more. “

You may have a few questions, so here are answers to a few FAQs, for your information:

Is Dementia a Normal Part of Aging?

No, many seniors lead their entire lives without developing dementia. Standard aging can involve factors such as weakening muscles and bones, stiffening of arteries, and some age-related memory changes that may manifest as occasional instances of misplacing car keys, temporary word retrieval challenges, or brief lapses in recalling acquaintances’ names or recent events. However, fundamental knowledge, lifelong experiences, and language skills typically remain intact.

What Elevates the Risk of Dementia?

Various factors contribute to the risk of dementia, including:

  • Age: The most prominent risk factor, with the majority of cases occurring in individuals aged 65 and older.
  • Family history: A family history of dementia increases the likelihood of developing the condition.
  • Race/ethnicity: Older African Americans and Hispanics have higher dementia risks compared to whites.
  • Poor heart health: Conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking can elevate dementia risk if not managed appropriately.
  • Traumatic brain injury: Severe or recurring head injuries can heighten dementia risk.

How is Dementia Diagnosed?

Healthcare providers can conduct assessments of attention, memory, problem-solving, and other cognitive functions to determine if there are any concerns. Additionally, physical examinations, blood tests, and brain scans, such as CT or MRI, can help identify potential underlying causes.

What Are the Most Common Dementia Types?

The most prevalent forms of dementia include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It leads to difficulties in remembering recent events and may cause later issues with walking, talking, or personality changes.
  • Vascular dementia, often linked to strokes or blood flow problems, with symptoms dependent on affected brain regions.
  • Lewy body dementia, characterized by memory loss, movement difficulties, and alterations in alertness and sleep patterns.
  • Fronto-temporal dementia, leading to personality and behavior changes due to brain region involvement, affecting language skills as well.
  • Mixed dementia, where multiple types of dementia coexist, especially in those aged 80 and older.
  • Reversible causes, including medication side effects, increased brain pressure, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid imbalances, should be screened for as potential contributors to dementia.

How is Dementia Managed?

The management of dementia varies according to its underlying cause. For neurodegenerative dementias like Alzheimer’s, there is no cure, but medications can help protect the brain and alleviate symptoms like anxiety or behavior changes. Research is ongoing to develop additional treatment options. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and maintaining social connections, can lower the risk of developing chronic diseases and may reduce the prevalence of dementia.”

To all the carers of patients with dementia, don’t give up hope. Increased research funds and clinical studies can lead the way to effective new treatments.

Until next time.