Dementia occurs as a result of physical changes in the structure of the brain. These changes can affect memory, thinking, behaviour, personality and emotion. Because dementia is a progressive syndrome, symptoms will gradually worsen. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, although there are several other forms. No single factor has been identified as a cause for dementia or Alzheimer's disease. It is likely that a combination of factors, including age, genetic inheritance and environment are responsible.
There are over 48,000 people with dementia in New Zealand. Alzheimers New Zealand works with people with dementia, their family/whanau, friends and community. We estimate around 300,000 New Zealanders are affected by dementia. People of all ages, ethnicities and intellectual ability can get dementia. While it is more common in people over the age of 65, it can also affect younger people.
It is common for people of all ages to experience forgetfulness and memory loss. Forgetfulness is not being able to remember something at a specific time, but probably being able to recall it later. This kind of forgetfulness is not cause for alarm.
Examples for normal forgetfulness include:
- walking into the kitchen and forgetting what you went in for
- misplacing your keys
- forgetting the names of people
- not remembering a specific place or brand name (the "tip of the tongue" experience)
However, there is a cause for concern when memory loss starts to affect the daily life of a person.
Call for better understanding of dementia care
Posted 24 April 2013
Scam Alert from "newyearsupport"
Posted 25 February 2013
Posted 18 February 2013
National Dementia Awareness Campaign
Posted 04 February 2013
Younger Onset Dementia Forum
Posted 14 January 2013
Congratulations Alzheimers Rotorua
Posted 11 October 2012
Alzheimers New Zealand launches national awareness campaign
Posted 04 September 2012
Dementia made a national health priority in Australia
Posted 15 August 2012