Dementia is a serious health condition that affects your brain. It can cause people to have problems with their memory, thinking, and even the way they behave. Dementia is caused by other diseases or injuries that damage the brain. The illness gets worse over time, and symptoms usually get worse as well. There are different stages of dementia depending on how severe the illness is.
Early Signs Of Dementia
There are many types of dementia. The most common form is Alzheimer’s disease, which affects about 60% of people with dementia. With the right memory care, you can ensure your loved one is comfortable and safe. Here are some common early signs of dementia:
- Memory loss. Your loved one may have trouble recalling recent conversations or events, or they might forget where they put things (like their keys).
- Confusion and disorientation. They might not know what day it is, how to get from point A to point B, or even the names of loved ones close to them. In some cases, this confusion can be severe enough for them not to remember who you are when you come home after being gone for hours!
- Mood swings. Dementia patients may experience sudden episodes of extreme anger or sadness—even laughing at inappropriate times—which causes distress in others around them and themselves!
Mild dementia is the most common form of age-related mental decline. The early signs are usually noticeable within two to five years before mild dementia symptoms appear. If you or a loved one experiences these early signs, seek medical advice as soon as possible:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life (for example, forgetting how to use the stove or forgetting why you walked into a room)
- Challenges in planning or solving problems (for example, finding it difficult to manage finances)
- Confusion with time or place (for example, getting lost in familiar places; not knowing what day/month/year it is)
Moderate dementia is a stage in which the patient experiences memory loss. The person can no longer remember new information or learn new things, and their current knowledge may be affected. Patients with moderate dementia will also have difficulty planning and organizing their day-to-day activities, solving problems, communicating effectively with others (especially verbally), and reading or writing. They may have trouble making decisions about life or medical problems because they have difficulty understanding abstract concepts such as time frames and money management issues.
Severe dementia is a major stage in the progression of dementia. At this point, an individual has lost most of their cognitive abilities and may not recognize family or friends. They will also have difficulty speaking and understanding language.
A person with severe dementia will likely be unable to swallow properly, which can lead to choking or aspiration pneumonia (a lung infection caused when food or liquid enters the lungs). They may also experience loss of bladder control, which can cause urinary tract infections that can become life-threatening if left untreated. Bowel control usually follows shortly after the loss of bladder control.
A person with severe dementia may have difficulty walking due to impaired balance and coordination skills. Because they cannot walk on their own anymore, it’s important for them to be supervised at all times so that they do not fall down stairs or get hurt in other ways while walking around without assistance from someone who knows what they’re doing (this is why many nursing homes keep track logs for each resident).
All in all, dementia is a serious condition that requires proper treatment. This can include medication and therapy, but it also requires empathy for the person suffering from it as well as their loved ones who have to care for them.