A recent study commissioned by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed that stroke survivors are twice as likely to develop dementia later in life. According to the analysis, 8.6% of stroke survivors in the UK are presently living with dementia, with almost three quarters of them being diagnosed with vascular dementia.
What is vascular dementia?
Vascular dementia is a cognitive decline disease, caused by a vascular blockage that reduces or obstructs the blood supply to a part of the brain. The most common symptoms include memory loss, confusion, sudden mood changes and difficulty focusing or paying attention. Many of these signs overlap with those triggered by other types of dementia which increases the difficulty of getting an accurate diagnosis.
Following a stroke, vascular dementia symptoms tend to appear quite quickly. Alzheimer’s Society found that stroke survivors develop the disease after 3 to 6 months. Although vascular dementia is generally associated with old age, it is to be noted that strokes can occur at any age. The National Institute for Health and Excellence states that a quarter of strokes are suffered by people of working age.
How is vascular dementia diagnosed?
If you or someone you know displays symptoms of vascular dementia, it’s important to get a health assessment as soon as possible. Your healthcare professional will talk to you about your medical history, conduct cognitive ability tests, take your blood pressure and arrange for blood tests. Getting diagnosed can take time and you might be referred to a specialist clinic.
Sova Healthcare provides comprehensive health screenings to help you detect or prevent the risk of developing vascular dementia, heart disease, or having a stroke.
How to prevent vascular dementia
Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia is easier to prevent. Since the risk factors for vascular dementia are most commonly cardiovascular, managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol might help reduce the risk. At the same time, controlling your blood sugar levels, not smoking or drinking, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet are also important preventive measures.
For those who have been diagnosed with dementia, finding adequate care is paramount to their safety and well-being. For the vast majority, professional home care services will be required as the disease progresses. Ensuring that you choose the right specialist care provider will make a great difference in the quality of life of those affected.
Sova Healthcare has years of experience looking after dementia patients. With our bespoke live-in care and domiciliary care services, you can rest assured that your loved one will receive the levels of support required to continue to feel confident and safe.
Contact us today!