Dementia is an invisible sort of illness; it does not reveal itself through bandages, wheelchairs, or walking aids. It starts slowly. It is subtle. It is a different experience for each person it affects. We don’t necessarily know if someone has dementia by looking at them. That’s how invisible dementia is.
Dementia can affect thinking and memory in a range of ways. It can affect day-to-day, recent memory. It can cause difficulties with planning, concentrating, or organizing. It can affect use of language. It can affect visuospatial skills. It can affect orientation to time or place.
For more detailed explanation of symptoms follow Alzheimer’s Society advice: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis
Sometimes dementia may even cause visual hallucinations or delusions. Dementia can lead to changes in mood, but dementia does not cause disconnection. People living with it can still, always, form meaningful relationships with other people. Behind all the symptoms there is still the person we care about. We can still communicate to connect to them when they seem to be disappearing behind their dementia. So the real question is: How to recognise the person you care about in their dementia?