What is vascular dementia?

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia. It is caused by damaged blood cells which reduce blood flow to the brain. According to Alzheimer’s UK, over 150,000 people are living with vascular dementia in the UK.

Here you can learn more about vascular dementia and how our specialist dementia care services can support people living with dementia and their families.

What Is Vascular Dementia?

Vascular dementia is a general term used to describe difficulties with thinking, reasoning, language and memory caused by brain damage from reduced blood flow to the brain.

Strokes are one of the most common causes of vascular dementia as they lead to restricted blood flow to the brain. The symptoms you may experience as a result of a stroke will depend on the stroke’s severity and location.

But not all vascular dementias are caused by strokes. Vascular dementia can also be caused by other conditions that damage blood cells and reduce circulation. These conditions deprive the brain of vital oxygen and nutrients, leading to vascular dementia.

Treatment for vascular dementia focuses on managing the health conditions and risk factors that contribute to the condition. By controlling the conditions that lead to the underlying damage to your heart and blood vessels, you can slow the rate at which dementia develops and prevent further decline.

What Are The Symptoms Of Vascular Dementia?

The symptoms of vascular dementia vary depending on which areas of the brain are not receiving sufficient oxygen due to impaired blood flow. Many of the symptoms are similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease. But unlike Alzheimer’s disease, many people living with vascular dementia face problems with reasoning and speed of thinking rather than memory loss.

Some of the most common vascular dementia symptoms include:

  • Problems with concentration
  • Problems with language and communication
  • Confusion
  • Slowed thinking
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Unsteady walking
  • Mood and behavioural changes

Preventing Vascular Dementia

The health of the body’s blood cells is largely determined by your overall heart health. By taking care of your heart, you can greatly reduce your likelihood of developing vascular dementia.

These are some steps that anyone can take to keep their heart healthy:

  • Enjoy regular physical exercise
  • Keep your cholesterol in check
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet low in saturated fats
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or control diabetes
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce stress

Caring For Someone With Vascular Dementia

Through our experience in supporting people living with dementia and their families, we recognise how challenging it can be for family caregivers that are caring for someone with vascular dementia.

The following strategies can help you provide the best care to your loved one and improve their overall health and wellbeing:

Learn About Vascular Dementia

By learning as much as you can about vascular dementia, its causes and symptoms, you’ll be best prepared to provide quality care to your loved one. Some organisations and charities that provide information on caring for someone with dementia include Dementia UK, the Alzheimer’s Society, Young Dementia UK and Dementia Friends.

Create a Safe Environment

It is important to work with your loved one to modify their environment to ensure safety. Some people living with vascular dementia face difficulties with movement and unsteady walking. This can lead to dangerous slips and falls in the home. Improving lighting, keeping floors clutter-free and installing grab bars and handrails are all ways that you can make their home environment safer.

Anticipate Misinterpretation

As vascular dementia progresses, the person may find it difficult to interpret verbal and non-verbal communication. This can cause anxiety and frustration in both the individual and their caregivers. Try to be clear and concise with all communications, including remaining calm and repeating yourself as needed.

Remember That All Behaviour Has A Purpose

It is important to remember that behaviours that may at first appear challenging are often the result of an unmet need or want. By slowing down and trying to see the world through their eyes, you may be able to understand the message they are finding difficult to convey in words. If you can respond to the feeling behind the behaviour, rather than the behaviour itself, you can reassure your loved one and prevent behaviours that can challenge.

Practice Patience, Acceptance And Flexibility

Remember that changes in mood or behaviour in a person living with dementia are not deliberate responses but rather a reaction to changes in the brain. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important to seek support. Exploring other resources such as respite care, caregiver support groups, and adult day programs can provide a much-needed break for both the person with dementia and their carers.

Expert Dementia Care, For All Of Life

We know from our experience of supporting thousands of people living with dementia, that when faced with the prospect of needing long-term care most people would prefer to stay in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes to receive the care they need.

For those living with dementia, a move away from familiar surroundings can have devastating effects on their ability to live well with dementia. By receiving care at home, a person living with dementia can maintain their personal and deeply integrated routines. This can help them to maintain a sense of reassurance and control over their lives.

Prestige Nursing & Care has supported individuals living with dementia in their own homes and communities for over 75 years. We have been trusted by families up and down the country to provide care for all of life, evolving the level and type of care we provide to meet changing needs.

We believe that with the right support in place tailored to their individual needs, people living with dementia can live fulfilling and healthy lives in their own homes. We are here to provide life-changing support every step of the way.

The Benefits of Our Expert Dementia Care

There are many life-enriching benefits to receiving dementia home care, including:

  • We provide one-to-one, highly personalised care delivered by the same compassionate team, which improves the quality, continuity and consistency of care
  • Receiving high-quality care at home is proven to reduce slips and falls and hospital admissions
  • A dedicated care team is there to support not just the person living with dementia, but all the family. They will get to know the family and the challenges they are facing and will be there to help them throughout their dementia journey
  • A home carer is there as your constant companion and will help you keep in contact with the people who are important to you
  • Staying at home means you keep the family home in the family, and you have all your home comforts around you to enjoy
  • If you are a couple, you can still stay living together even if you have very different needs.
  • Home care is very cost-effective

We are here to take your call and will provide impartial support and guidance – contact our friendly care experts today to discuss your dementia care and support needs.

Find out why our clients choose Prestige Nursing & Care for a high quality, responsive home care service.

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We are here to take your call and will provide impartial support and guidance – contact our friendly care experts today to discuss your care needs.


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