By Titilayo Kupoliyi    

Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life.

These changes trigger a decline in thinking skills, severe enough to impair daily life and independent function.

They also affect behavior, feelings and relationships.

World Health Organisation, W.H.O, puts the figure of people living with dementia worldwide at almost fifty million.

This number is expected to triple by 2050 making it one of the leading cases of dependency and mental impairment among the elderly population.

Out of the fifty million people living with dementia, 58 percent are living in third world countries.

According to medical doctors, major cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease while microscopic bleeding and blood vessel blockage in the brain is another cause.

What are the risk factors of dementia and how can it be controlled?

A health educator at the University Of Ibadan, Professor Olawale Moronkola noted that dementia could be hereditary, as a result of neurological disorders and sedentary lifestyle.

He maintained that old age and diseases of the heart like diabetes pre-disposes one to dementia.

Professor Moronkola emphasized that though dementia was incurable but could be managed through regular exercise and medication.

What is the level of awareness on this health condition?

Some residents of Ibadan displayed high knowledge of it.

A psychologist at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Dr. Olugbemi Olukolade pointed out that dementia occurs in stages from mild to severe with enormous effects on both the patients and caregivers.

Dr. Olukolade who stressed that dementia can be overwhelming identified anxiety, irritability, grief and sadness as some of the psychological effects of dementia.

Dr. Olukolade emphasized that love and empathy should be shown to people living with dementia for them to have a happy and long life.


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