It is something that anyone who has elderly relatives dreads. The day when they pop in for a visit or go on an outing with their relative to notice that they seem confused, lost, and are forgetting things regularly.
It’s worth noting that these symptoms on their own are not signs of dementia. Still, if you have concerns, you should always encourage or take your elderly relative to see a doctor immediately, especially if there is a history of dementia in your family.
If you have a loved one that has a diagnosis of dementia, you will probably want to know more about the disorder and how you can help. This brief introductory guide will simplify the condition and will aim to make it easier to understand.
What Is Dementia?
There is a myth that dementia is part of the aging process, but this is not true. Mild cognitive decline is normal for those over the age of 65, but dementia is a neurological disease. There are many different types of dementia that will be discussed. If your loved one needs to move into an assisted living facility, like Grand Victorian of Rockford, this facility can cope with the type of dementia that they have.
Types of Dementia
Alzheimer’s is the most well-known type of dementia and presents with general cognitive decline relating to memory, cognition, and mental state. The causes of this kind of dementia are not known, but many experts believe it is related to mutations in three genes, so there is a genetic element. Brain scans have found that those who have Alzheimer’s have plaques and tangles in their brains, which can accelerate cognitive decline.
Lewy Bodies Dementia
Lewy Bodies dementia is caused by clumps of protein that are found in the brain, and this is one of the more common forms of progressive dementia. The common signs and symptoms are somewhat different from Alzheimer’s and involve your loved one potentially acting out their dreams, having hallucinations, and having issues with focus and attention. They may also have issues with rigidity and may also have tremors.
Vascular dementia is caused by damage to the blood vessels that surround the brain and is the most common dementia to occur following a stroke. The symptoms include difficulties with problem-solving, loss of focus and organization, and slow thinking. Interestingly, many people notice these symptoms before they notice memory loss.
This is a type of dementia that is caused by the breakdown of nerve cells relating to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This is associated with changes in personality, behaviors, and language.
If you see any of these symptoms in your elderly relative, you need to get them assessed by a doctor as soon as you can. Assisted living facilities can offer support for those who have all types of dementia and can help them to maintain their independence for a longer period than would be possible without this support.