“Can I remember exactly when I ‘lost’ my husband? Was it the moment when I had to start tying his shoelaces for him? Or when we stopped being able to laugh with each other? Looking back, that turning point is impossible to pinpoint. But then, that’s the nature of dementia.” – Judy Parfitt, English Actress
Dementia is an awful condition as it effects cognitive skills. In this article we will focus on some of the warning signs of dementia, and also offer a few treatment alternatives.
According to the Alzheimer’s Organization, dementia is “a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.” Memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease are the most common forms of dementia. It can be described as a gradual decline in memory capacity, thinking and reasoning skills.
Scientists confirm that dementia is not a specific disease, and includes numerous symptoms that determine the presence of a destructive cognitive disorder. This disorder is a rather complex nature, and licensed medical doctors (i.e. neurologists) are the only professionals to be able to diagnose it.
Types of dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of this disorder. It affects 60-80 percent of all cases. It is a fatal condition that neutralizes brain cells and “kills” the cognitive process. Patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can notice several changes in themselves.
Vascular dementia is the second top cause of this disorder. It is a form of dementia caused by stroke.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced. This deprives your brain of oxygen and nutrients, which can cause your brain cells to die. A stroke may be caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or the leaking or bursting of a blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke),” experts at the Mayo Clinic explain.
This is not dementia
Dementia is a complex medical problem. Most people believe it is related to aging. However, this is not true. “Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging,” Alzheimer’s Organization notes. Memory changes often occur as a result of the aging process.
There is a difference between “age-related” memory issues and dementia. One of them is the way the condition affects everyday life. We all forget or experience brain fogs. Some people have memory issues and cannot think clearly. But, this does not necessarily mean the these individuals have dementia.
Always seek medical help to determine your condition.
Top 5 signs of dementia
- Difficulty planning or solving problems
People with dementia have sudden change in their ability to follow through a plan. They are unable to keep track of bank balances or a recipe. Individuals also experience concentration issues during the onset of dementia.
- Difficulty focusing on once-familiar tasks
Individuals are unable to complete routine tasks. They cannot follow a familiar route or cannot play their favorite game anymore. Any changes in a person’s ability to complete a regular tasks need to be checked.
- Problems when communicating
Individuals are also unable to follow a conversation and forget what they said or even do not know how to proceed. Experts have also noticed vocabulary challenges as some individuals with dementia are unable to use the correct word.
- Withdrawal from social/work activities
Sometimes people can skip work of social activities once they become aware of the cognitive challenges. This withdrawal can be attributed to fearfulness, denial or personality issues. Some patients can become progressively distant.
- Memory loss that affects daily life.
We all have memory lapses, but if these lapses affect your everyday life you have a problem. In the early stage of dementia, individuals forget recently learned info, and this is one of the very first signs of dementia. Here are some more signs of severe memory issues:
- Forgetting important dates and events
- Ask for information we are already given (repeatedly)
- Using memory aids
- Relying on others to remember info
Scientists have not found a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Existing therapies can relieve some symptoms, and there are also support groups for dementia patients and their loved ones.
The Alzheimer’s Organization has six top recommendations when it comes to preventing dementia:
- Keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar within recommended limits
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit alcohol consumption
Source: Power Of Positivity