Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms caused when the brain is damaged by diseases. These symptoms can include memory loss, understanding, movement and difficulties carrying out daily activities.
Having or knowing someone with dementia can be devastating, but there are things in place to make life a little easier.
Certain council tax rules offer exemptions and discounts where someone diagnosed with dementia is concerned.
The council tax discount is titled ‘severe mental impairment’ (SMI), and there is a simple process to be entitled to it.
The council tax rules state a person is exempt from council tax if they have a ‘severe mental impairment’, and this includes conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
People who fall into this bracket are disregarded for council tax in a similar way students are.
If you live with someone with a severe mental impairment and no other adults, or adults who have also been disregarded for council tax, you are entitled to a 25 per cent discount.
If you fall under the bracket of ‘severe mental impairment’ and live alone, you can receive a 100 per cent discount.
In many cases you can have your council tax backdated to the time of the SMI diagnosis.
But if you think you are entitled to the council tax discount you must have been certified by a medical professional.
Going forward you will then need to get a claim form from your council and register for the council tax discount.
There is no cure for dementia right now, but if it is diagnosed in the early stages, there are ways you can slow it down and maintain mental function.
Different types of dementia can affect people differently, but there are some common early symptoms to look out for.
The NHS says these include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
- Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
- Being confused about time and place
- Mood changes
One of the ways proven to slow down cognitive decline is the MIND diet – a diet developed specifically to help improve brain function and reduce dementia which is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the blood pressure-lowering DASH diet.
There are no set guidelines for how to follow the MIND diet other than to eat more 10 particular foods.
These include green, leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, fish, beans , poultry and even wine.
But foods that contain saturated fats and trans fats, should be limited, as studies in the past have found trans fats are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are some other ways you can prevent the disease.