10 things we take for granted that people with dementia forget

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By Louise Martin | Thursday 26 March 2015

1. Recognising your nearest and dearest

Looking through precious photo albums reminds us of our past, but imagine not being able to recognise your friends and family staring back at you. That’s the tragic prospect facing people with dementia.

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2. Your favourite foods

Whether it’s a home-cooked roast dinner or a simple bar of chocolate, we all have our favourite foods. But as this terrible condition advances, not only may individuals forget these familiar comforts, they may forget to eat or even how to swallow too.

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3. Social awareness

Reacting to a situation – happy or sad – is a basic part of human communication. Some people with dementia lose their social awareness skills, including the ability to show empathy and how to behave in certain situations.

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4. Driving

Driving from A – B is routine for most but people with dementia may not only forget how to drive, but how to move their body to enable them to get into a car.

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5. Forgetting the simple things

Repeatedly forgetting to do simple things like closing the fridge door, turning off the oven, making a cup of tea or locking the door are all signs of memory loss – an early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease which is the most common cause of dementia.

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6. Forgetting words

During a conversation, people in the early stages of dementia may struggle to think of words. In the later stages of the condition individuals may lose the ability to communicate altogether.

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7. Basic body functions

When nature calls we know what to do. People with dementia may eventually lose control of their basic bodily functions leaving them completely reliant on others for their care.

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8. Reading a newspaper

Reading a newspaper is part of many people’s daily routine, but for people with dementia it can be an impossible task as they may lose their cognitive functions, including the ability to read.

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9. Your home

Our home is our sanctuary where we can close the door to the world, but people with dementia can forget all things familiar to them including their home.

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10. Your career

Our careers can define us and leave us feeling fulfilled, but dementia can delete years of knowledge and experience and even the most high-powered careers may be forgotten.

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About the author

Louise Martin