Dementia is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, their behaviour and their ability to perform everyday tasks. Dementia gradually gets worse overtime and is more common in older people. Learn more from an expert about how to recognise dementia.
My mom's been having some memory problems lately. And everyone's talking about dementia. I'm not really sure what dementia is.
Professor Susan Kurrle
Dementia's the catchall term for changes in thinking, in memory, and changes in personality and behaviour, that occurs as a result of disease in the brain.
Forgetting is something that we all do, and that perhaps, occurs a little more often as we get older. As your brain gets older, you do forget names. It is perfectly normal to forget the names of friends, to forget the names of flowers, those sorts of things. What is bad is if you forget that you've ever known them.
You should worry about forgetting when it affects your day-to-day functioning. So, if you can no longer work your mobile phone, if you forget where you left your car in the car park, if you have trouble following a recipe that's normally been very easy, those sorts of things make you think, this is more than just normal forgetting.
Last reviewed: December 2015