Dementia Care Site Map
Understanding Dementia


Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe various conditions which damage brain cells and lead to a loss of brain function over time.


Dementia is progressive, which means the symptoms will get worse over time. How quickly dementia progresses depends entirely on the individual, each person will have their own, unique experience with dementia.


Dementia is usually characterised by a gradual deterioration in memory and in the person's ability to carry out everyday activities, make decisions, understand information and express themselves. Dementia may also affect a person's mood, personality and behaviour.


There are many different types of dementia but Alzheimer's disease and Vascular dementia are the most common forms. Less common forms include Lewy body dementia, Fronto-temporal dementia (including Pick's disease) and Korsakoff's disease (alcohol-related dementia).


The progression and outcome of dementia vary, but are largely determined by the type of dementia and which area of the brain is affected. Diagnosis is possible through advanced brain imaging, clinical examinations, and diagnostic testing. You should initially talk with your doctor regarding the process for determining a diagnosis of dementia.


For more information on dementia please refer to Alzheimer's Australia help sheet on About Dementia?