Dementia is not a general breaking down of life! Its a group term for specific brain abnormailites which can be seen on CT/MRI scans or in post mortems. Being old does not mean that dementia is inevitable. I agree with Deadchick - why do you say this here? Its on a mental health forum because during the course of the illnesses, people living with dementia often experience psychotic symptoms, anxiety, depression etc
If you look up anything on the Alzheimer's Society's website, they weill give you a lot of resources to look through. There is Dementia Care also who can guide you to books,online etc. Then there are things written by Dementia Matters - possibly the best, written by David Sheard, a leading proponent of change in dementia care in this country. I advocate anything written by him.
On the main website - the first page you come to before the forum - I have written some things which might be helpful for you too. Its an over view of different wasy to approach a person living with dementia. Its far from complete, but its a fairly good intro. I'll go an find the link and post it for you.
Accordingly, Dementia is a group of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease. Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.
Most people with dementia are older, but it is important to remember that not all older people get dementia. It is not a normal part of ageing. Dementia can happen to anybody, but it is more common after the age of 65 years. People in their 40s and 50s can also have dementia.