What Is Dementia?
By: Rosemarie Tamunday Casanova
Just because you or a loved one is becoming forgetful, don’t immediately assume dementia is the cause. Forgetfulness can result from many things, including fatigue, medications, poor nutrition, excessive alcohol use, and more.
“Dementia” is a general term used to describe a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. The most well-known and most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. While receiving a dementia diagnosis may seem daunting, many live active, happy lives for years after receiving their diagnosis.
Early Signs of Dementia
Although memory loss is one symptom of dementia, memory loss alone is not enough for a diagnosis of dementia. Memory loss would need to be combined with one or more of the following:
Language issues: Difficulty expressing one’s thoughts; struggling to find the right words to express oneself, or forgetting the meaning of specific words
Personality changes: Mood changes are common, including depression and a lack of interest in hobbies and other activities; shy people may suddenly become more outgoing.
Difficulty completing tasks: Complex, multi-step tasks may slowly become more challenging, things like balancing a check book, following a simple recipe, or playing games with lots of rules.
Failing Sense of direction: Getting lost returning from familiar locations and not recognizing once-familiar landmarks is a another common sign of dementia.
Difficulty following storylines: Failure to understand the storyline of familiar TV programs or difficulty following conversations is a classic symptom of dementia.
Struggling to adapt to change: People in the early stages of dementia can become fearful, as once familiar places and activities become strange. As a result, they may crave routine and avoid new situations.
What to Do
If you think a loved one is showing signs of dementia,
- Respectively check in with other family members or close friends to see if they have seen similar signs.
- Ask your loved one how they think their memory is working. They may be relieved to talk with you if they have been noticing a decline themselves.
- Encourage them to see their doctor, as their symptoms might be the result of something treatable. Offer to take them, if you think they may welcome your support.
- If you think your loved one may not accept your help, enlist the aid of another family member or friend whose involvement your loved one might accept more easily.
If your loved one is suffering from any form of dementia and needs more in home senior care then you are able to give, call Right Accord Private Duty Home Health Care. Our team of certified dementia caregivers understands