Actress Judy Parfitt recalls the time she lost her husband. It wasn’t death, it was more like an inexplicable loss. She had to tie his shoelaces and life wasn’t never the same. The actress missed all the laugh, and it’s impossible to pinpoint the turning point.
Dementia is a common condition in elderly, but it doesn’t happen to everybody. It’s a condition that requires a lot of attention and patience. Living with someone who has been diagnosed with dementia is like going back in time as these people forget how to do normal things like tying their laces. They forget all the things you went through together, and it hurts. But, life goes on, and you have to find something positive in everything. Help those people love life like they used to do.
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.
Dementia is a condition describing the decline in mental ability that’s so bad it affects everyday 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.
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, sufferers have a stroke when their brain doesn’t get enough blood supply. The brain is unable to use its regular amount of oxygen and nutrients, and its cells die off. Stroke is also caused by blocked arteries (ischemic stroke) or leaking or bursting of blood vessels (hemorrhagic stroke).
This is not dementia
Alzheimer’s Organization explains that dementia is often mistaken for senility or senile dementia. This is an incorrect belief, and people should stop saying that pretty much everyone experiences a mental decline.
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