Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal aging. It may be static, the result of a unique global brain injury, or progressive, resulting in long-term decline due to damage or disease in the body. Although dementia is far more common in the older population, it may occur in any stage of adulthood.
The onset of dementia is often very gradual but it does mean that a person’s abilities will deteriorate, sometimes rapidly over a few months, in other cases more slowly over a number of years until ‘advanced stage’ dementia is reached.
Dementia is a terminal condition and there is currently no cure. The fact that dementia will result in death is not easy to come to terms with and can often be a surprise to learn.