Have you ever entered a room and completely forgotten why you were there or what you were doing? While this might be unsettling, it is not a sign of dementia. So, how do you know if the behaviors you are observing in your loved one are indicative of cognitive decline? To be diagnosed with dementia, a person must have at least two of the early symptoms of dementia and it has to be severe enough to interfere with their daily activities. Read on to find out more about dementia and its associated risks.
Causes of Dementia
Dementia is not a single condition. It encompasses a wide range of cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body, vascular, frontotemporal, and mixed dementia. Damage to cells in the brain can be caused by a variety of factors, including but not limited to a lack of blood flow, head trauma, or even a reaction to a medication.
Caused by cognitive damage, dementia can cause an individual to have impairments in communication, focus, reasoning abilities in addition to memory problems. The symptoms that appear will vary from person to person and can affect them differently depending on the damage present in the brain. If dementia is diagnosed early, depending on the cause, there may be treatment options to delay the onset of cognitive decline.
With the progression of dementia, the symptoms may begin to have a greater impact on a person’s quality of life and well-being. It may end up affecting their ability to perform daily tasks and activities. Some of the problems faced include but are not limited to personality changes, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and agitation.
If you or a loved one exhibits two or more of the cognitive and psychological symptoms, it is recommended that you seek a proper diagnosis from your doctor and learn what your next steps should be.
Risk Factors to Note
Some dementia risk factors, such as age, sex, gender, and family history, are beyond your control. On the other hand, there are risk factors that are referred to as “modifiable risk factors” by experts. This means you have the option to change them for the sake of your health. Such risk factors include vascular issues which affect one’s veins and arteries, vitamin deficiencies, diet, and exercise.
While there is no sure way to stop the onset of dementia, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate and slow down the progression. It is beneficial to keep the mind, body, and social life active as this stimulates the mental capacity of the brain and reduces the likelihood of dementia. Physical fitness and a healthy diet will also be good measures to have. Having a good sleep schedule would also help to maintain one’s health.
Quality Living With Memory Care Resources
In Discovery Village At Deerwood, we have a specialized program, SHINE® Memory Care, that is specially designed to help improve the standard of living and provide quality care to our residents with dementia or other memory conditions.