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In the 19th century, dementia became a common diagnosis. The patients were admitted to mental or lunatic asylums. Most people suffering from dementia were considered mad or cognitively impaired and it was never associated with old age. Admitting patients to these facilities was often to hide them from society. Unfortunately, the practice of bleeding and vomiting as treatments were still practised, the scariest of them being lobotomies and electrocution.

After many years of misconceptions, the 20th century was a turn-around point. It all started with a 1906 German physician Alois Alzheimer who made one of the biggest breakthroughs in understanding dementia. He inspected the brain of a deceased woman who had shown signs of aggression and paranoia. The scientist discovered there was damage to the cerebral cortex, which he called tangles and plaques. This type of dementia would later be called Alzheimer’s disease the most common cause of dementia which the World Health Organisation (WHO) WHO Alzheimer's  claim "makes up 60 to 70% of dementia cases".

By the end of this module staff should have an awareness of and been assessed for knowledge in the following Dementia Awareness related areas:

  • What is dementia
  • What is not dementia
  • Signs and symptoms of dementia
  • Common types of dementia
  • Understand what it may be like to have dementia
  • Understand how to support people with dementia
  • Difficult behaviours
  • Dementia friends
  • Dementia friendly pharmacy