Types of Dementia

Dementia is an umbrella term that refers to a group of neurological conditions that affect the brain. There are over 100 types of dementia of which the major symptom is a gradual and progressive reduction in brain function over time.

The most common causes of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. Although the risk of getting dementia increases as we age, people in their 40s and 50s can also have dementia.

Every type of dementia is progressive meaning symptoms will gradually worsen over time. Despite the challenges presented by dementia, it is possible to live well at home with our expert dementia care from live-in care specialists.

What are the different types of dementia?

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a physical brain condition that results in impaired thinking, memory loss and speech and language difficulties.

There are currently more than 520,000 people in the UK living with dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease and this figure is only expected to rise.

The brain is made up of millions of nerve cells called neurons that are all connected to one another. Alzheimer’s disease causes abnormal plaques and tangles to build up over time in the brain. These plaques and tangles disrupt the brain’s neurons and affect their ability to work together and communicate.

When the neurons of a person’s brain can no longer communicate as they once did due to Alzheimer’s disease, everyday activities like speaking, thinking and reasoning become difficult.

At first symptoms may be mild, such as misplacing objects or forgetting a loved one’s name. But as the disease progresses and more parts of the brain are affected, symptoms gradually worsen and start to disrupt everyday life.

Along with memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty recognising people or objects
  • Language and comprehension difficulties
  • Poor concentration
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Slow, muddled or repetitive speech
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Changes in behaviour, mood and personality

Although the progression of Alzheimer’s disease varies for everyone there is sadly no cure currently available. There are medications and treatments however that can slow the decline of memory and thinking abilities. Medications can also be used to manage secondary symptoms such as anxiety or depression.

At all stages of Alzheimer’s disease, expert dementia care provided by live-in care specialists can improve quality of life and health outcomes for people living with this condition.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. It is caused by restricted blood flow to the brain which prevents the brain from receiving the oxygen and nutrients it needs to properly function.

This restricted blood flow most commonly occurs due to diseased or damaged blood cells or as the result of a stroke or several ‘mini strokes’ called transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs).

Although vascular dementia shares many symptoms with Alzheimer’s disease, it most commonly affects a person’s thinking skills such as the ability to plan, organise and concentrate. This is why the first symptoms of vascular dementia are often related to the inability to plan or make decisions, rather than the memory loss that characterises Alzheimer’s disease.

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD)

Lewy body dementia is a type of dementia that affects both the brain and the nervous system. It is the third most common form of dementia in the UK.

LBD is caused by abnormal spherical structures called lewy bodies that develop within nerve cells. Over time these Lewy bodies lead to the deterioration and eventual death of nerve cells in the brain. People with LBD experience symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, confusion, disorientation, visual hallucinations and problems with movement.

Lewy body dementia shares many similarities with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s and in its early stages it is often difficult to distinguish between these conditions. Memory loss is less common with LBD but there is a greater risk for mood and behaviour changes such as apathy, depression and anxiety.

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

Frontotemporal dementia is an uncommon type of dementia that causes problems with behaviour and language. It affects either or both the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Unlike most other forms of dementia, FTD often affects people between the ages of 45 and 65

There are several different types of frontotemporal dementia with symptoms depending on which areas of the brain are affected first. Common symptoms include personality and behavioural changes, language difficulties, memory problems and disorientation.

Early/younger Onset Dementia

Dementia has been diagnosed in people in their 50s, 40s and even in their 30s. Early or younger onset dementia is used to describe any dementia that occurs to someone under the age of 65.

People living with early-onset Alzheimer’s may be in any stage of dementia — early stage, middle stage or late stage. Since health providers don’t often look for dementia in younger people, early onset dementia is often difficult to diagnose.

Mixed Dementia

Mixed dementia occurs when a person is presenting symptoms of more than one type of dementia. One in every ten people with dementia is diagnosed as having more than one type. The most common is a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. A person with mixed dementia will experience a variety of symptoms from both types of dementia they have.

Our live-in dementia care service

At Oxford Aunts we understand how upsetting it can be when a loved one receives a diagnosis of dementia or is living with memory loss that is progressing. As a family carer you may be finding it more and more difficult to cope with the situation – you are not alone.

Through our years of experience in providing support to people living with dementia we know that home is best for receiving dementia care. While moving at any stage of life can be challenging, this is especially true for individuals living with dementia. Remaining in the safety and familiarity of their own much-loved home for as long as possible provides great comfort to those living with dementia and their families.

With live-in care provided by Oxford Aunts you can be assured of a high-quality live-in care service provided by a trusted and established provider – a service that has provided peace of mind to many families, for many years.

How can live-in care benefit those with dementia?

Receiving care at home can help you retain your independence and allow you to continue living happily in your own home despite the challenges brought on by dementia. Here are just some of the benefits of receiving live-in dementia care:

  • Maintaining a consistent routine has many benefits for people living with dementia. Our carers can help you maintain a predictable routine and your preferred lifestyle – something that is difficult to achieve in a care home setting
  • If your loved one’s condition changes over time, our care is flexible and can be adapted to meet to meet their new care needs with minimal disruption
  • Living an active lifestyle filled with physical activity and healthy, nourishing foods can help manage the symptoms of dementia. Our carers will be more than happy to encourage and support you in building or maintaining healthy habits
  • Support for a number of day-to-day tasks from discreet and sensitive personal care to cooking and meal planning
  • A level of unrivalled and dedicated support that is hard to achieve in other care settings
  • Providing safe mobility assistance such as transferring between beds, wheelchairs, and other seating options
  • Helping your render your home a safer environment by removing clutter and suggesting mobility aids and home adaptations that can reduce your risk for slips and falls
  • If you are no longer able to drive, a carer can provide assistance with running errands
  • The physical symptoms associated with living with dementia may cause you to feel anxious or isolated at times. Our compassionate live-in carers are there to provide you with companionship and friendship, if and when you need it

Dementia care FAQs

What is dementia care?

Dementia care is when a dedicated carer visits you in your home to provide you with the care you need to live independently and manage the symptoms of your dementia.

Our fully managed and regulated dementia care service means our carers are employed and managed by us whilst they are caring for you. They are supported by a care management team made up of care experts who ensure they are supervised and supported to provide the high standards of care.

What is included in dementia care?

Our high-quality dementia care includes:

  • A comprehensive assessment of your needs – our assessment will address not just your care needs but how you wish to live your life
  • Careful matching of an experienced and dedicated carer who will meet all your needs
  • A highly tailored care plan created using a multidisciplinary approach in consultation with other healthcare professionals and community organisations involved in your care, as well as where appropriate your family members or loved ones
  • Unrivalled support from a team of two care managements experts local to you
  • Domestic and household tasks
  • Cooking, meal planning, shopping and preparation
  • 24-hours a day out-of-hours emergency support should you need it
When should dementia care be considered?

The flexible dementia care service provided by Oxford Aunts can be used in many different situations to support your care needs including:

  • When a person needs 24-hour live-in care because the symptoms of dementia mean they need around the clock care and support to continue to have a good quality of life.
  • A respite service can be provided on a live-in basis to support a family carer having a much-needed break to rest and recharge. Our respite dementia care service can give you the break you need, whilst you see whether 24-hour live-in care would work for you and your family.
  • If you need end-of-life dementia care this can also be provided as a live-in care service in the comfort of your home, negating the need to move into a residential setting or a hospice. Our carers make sure a person’s health needs are met whilst ensuring they have all their wishes, choices and preferences met.
  • Care for couples, so they can stay together as a loving couple with the personalised support they need. Whether one or both of you are living with dementia, our live-in dementia carer can ensure you both have a good quality of life.
What are the costs of dementia care?

Dementia live-in care costs are comparable with a quality care home, and sometimes less. Costs in care homes can be much more if you need nursing care. With live-in care you have the added value of being able to keep your family home and the fee you pay for your care is purely for the quality support you receive.

If you are a couple, live-in care really is a cost-effective option. In a care home you would be charged double for two bedrooms. With live-in care there is only a nominal cost if two people receive care at the same address.

Get in touch with us about your dementia care needs

Our expert care advisors are here to help you understand the options available to you.


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