In South Africa the most common forms of dementia include the following, and it is possible to have more than one form of dementia at a time:
Signs and symptoms in the mild and moderate phases
No single laboratory test can confirm a diagnosis of dementia. A doctor will usually make the diagnosis of dementia only after excluding other causes such as an infection, vitamin deficiency, thyroid disease, the side effects of drugs and many other pos¬sible causes.
As there is no cure for dementia, the first goal of management remains holistic physical and emotional care. There are drugs available, designed to treat symptoms of dementia in the early and middle stages. They are not a cure, but may stabilise and even improve some symptoms for a while.
The key to coping with dementia is to focus on what the person can do rather than what he or she is not able to do. Caregivers will need to be patient and understanding. A con¬stantly creative attitude is essential.
10 Warning signs
If you have, or someone you know has, three or more of these signs and it is a cause for concern for the person or those close to that person, a visit to a medical practitioner is recommended:
If you would like to talk about dementia to someone at Alzheimer's SA, phone or email us:
National Helpline - Tel: 0860 102 681
Eastern Cape - Tel: 041 371 4262
Free State - Tel: 051 522 4894
Gauteng - Tel: 011 346 2757
KwaZulu-Natal - Tel: 031 702 4321
Limpopo - Tel: 082 949 6456
Mpumalanga - Tel: 013 007 0089
North West - Tel: 018 293 0678 x 21
Northern Cape - Tel: 053 831 5815
Southern Cape - Tel: 044 533 0132
Western Cape - Tel: 021 979 2724
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