Dementia in Context

  • Richard ChestonEmail author
  • Gary Christopher


The term “dementia” refers to a group of symptoms that are caused by different neurodegenerative diseases, the most common of which are Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. The disease process is progressive, gradually affecting almost all areas of brain functioning. Although treatments exist for dementia, the condition is not curable. With the population profile of many countries becoming increasingly dominated by older people, the number of people who are living with dementia is steadily increasing while the costs of funding care are also rising. The impact of dementia is widespread. It affects not just the person living with the condition, but also those members of their family and neighbours who provide care. It is a highly stigmatised illness, and a range of social factors, including class and ethnicity, play important roles in determining how dementia is experienced, as well as the type of support that people living with their condition can draw upon. The final section of this chapter concerns service provision across the whole life course of the condition, stressing the importance of post-diagnostic support in terms of helping people live well with dementia.


Dementia Diagnosis Prevalence Ethnicity Services 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health and Social SciencesUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUK

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