Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia in the UK which affects around 150,000 people. Vascular dementia is caused by a lack of blood supply to the brain as the vascular system is damaged. This can either cause the blood vessels to become blocked (atherosclerosis) or it can cause them to leak. This causes the brain cells to die over time which causes cognitive problems affecting their daily life over time. One type of vascular dementia is stroke related dementia. This is when blood supply to part of the brain is suddenly cut off.
There are many signs and symptoms of vascular dementia. In early vascular dementia, it is normal for people to have mood changes and become withdrawn. Some other signs and symptoms are problems communicating as they have a slower speed of thought. Another sign and symptom is loss of skills. For example, not being able to do things they used to do such as cooking or moving about which can cause incontinence.
This can affect their health and wellbeing as it can impact their quality of life. For example, it can make them feel a lack of control as they will feel like they can’t do anything for them self. They may also feel a lack of dignity as they are unable to go to the toilet and may be unable to hold it in (urinary incontinence). This can then affect their health as their personal hygiene will decrease as they may not have someone there to care for them or help them clean them self when it happens, which can cause infections if they are left to sit in it. This then leads to a likelihood of abuse from their family or friends or even carers. For example, their family of friends can emotionally abuse then by making them feel small and dirty for not being able to make it to the toilet. It can also increase their chance of physical abuse from carers as their carer may get annoyed with having to change them all of the time as they can’t control their bladder.