Many people in the region are mistaking absent mindedness for dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Society. It says calls to its helpline rose by 60% during last year's festive season.
The charity's calling for greater understanding about the signs of the disease.
Dementia affects everyone in different ways, but people should seek medical advice if they notice that they:
- struggle to remember recent events, although they can easily recall things that happened in the past
- find it hard to follow conversations or programmes on TV
- forget the names of friends or everyday objects
- cannot recall things they have heard, seen or read
- repeat themselves or lose the thread of what they are saying
- have problems thinking and reasoning
- feel anxious, depressed or angry about their forgetfulness
- find that other people start to comment on their forgetfulness
- feel confused even when in a familiar environment.
You can find out more on the Alzheimer's Society website. The charity also runs the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22