Vascular dementia relates to the part of the brain that is affected by dementia. The term dementia describes a set of symptoms which includes memory loss. The condition affects people differently and symptoms can develop suddenly or gradually.
Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia, accounting for up to 40 per cent of dementia cases in older adults. It’s often caused by a reduction in normal blood flow to the brain, usually from either a stroke or a series of strokes.
When the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, the brain cells become deprived of vital oxygen and nutrients. This in turn causes damage to the brain and affects learning, memory, and language.
A person suffering from this condition, often experiences difficulty in basic tasks, especially those that involve having to remember things.
When preparing a meal in the kitchen and having difficulty with following a series of steps, it could be an early sign of vascular dementia.
Meal preparation is often extremely difficult for a person living with vascular dementia. People with dementia may struggle to prepare meals, or food may spoil and be forgotten.
It is often quite dangerous too as those with dementia often forget about switching off cooking equipment.Alzheimer’s Society said: “Some symptoms of vascular dementia may be similar to those of other types of dementia.
“Memory loss is common in the early stages, but is not usually the main early symptom of vascular dementia.
“The most common cognitive symptoms in the early stages of vascular dementia are problems with planning or organising, making decisions or solving problems.
‘Having a slower speed of thought and problems concentrating, including short periods of sudden confusion.”
Depending on the person, and the severity of the condition, vascular dementia may come on gradually or suddenly, and can range from mild to severe.
As well as cognitive symptoms, it is also common for someone with early vascular dementia to experience mood changes, such as apathy, depression or anxiety.
Regardless of the rate of the condition, vascular dementia typically progresses in a stepwise fashion, where lapses in memory and reasoning abilities are followed by periods of stability, only to give way to further decline.
To ensure safety in the kitchen, Alzheimer’s Society said: “Consider having meals delivered. Online shopping can be helpful and use simple notes about where food is, and pictures.
Simple instructions can help those suffering with dementia and arranging a homeware worker could help with eating and drinking.”