Course taster

What is dementia?

Dementia is a complex syndrome that affects brain functioning. This relates to the irreversible loss of cognitive capacity and memory, such that there is a decline in a person's behaviour and ability to function socially, physically and emotionally over time (Kitwood, 1997, De Bellis et al, 2009, World Health Organization (WHO), 2012).

Dementia is not a normal part of ageing; it affects a person's ability to perform everyday activities and often leads to a total dependence on caregivers. The burden of dementia to public health is increasing, with an associated intensification of social and healthcare issues (De Bellis et al, 2009). The WHO (2012) estimates that the total number of new cases of dementia each year worldwide is nearly 7.7 million, implying one new case every four seconds. The number of people with dementia is expected to nearly double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.

Activity 1.1

Introduce yourself...

Write a short bio and outline your reasons for undertaking this module. Do you have personal experience of dementia?