Dementia Care | Innovative Family Health
Dementia -- Recognize the Signs. Get Help Right Away.
Many of us are familiar with the idea of dementia. Yet the first signs of dementia may seem like normal aging challenges. Did you know that identifying dementia symptoms early can lead to meaningful treatment?
Dementia is a leading cause of dependence and disability among older adults. Increased confusion and disorientation can become self-destructive forces. Patients can’t function on many levels, adding to the stress of caregiving. Nothing is more painful than when a loved one doesn’t remember their own family.
If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of dementia, don’t assume that nothing can be done. Make a list of what’s happening and bring the person to see Dr. Randall at Innovative Family Health. There are ways to diagnose the condition. Even more importantly, many modern techniques have been shown to help a dementia patient live a better life.
Common Dementia Symptoms
Over time, these symptoms will worsen. However, the right treatments can help delay the day when the disability overwhelms the patient. The goal is to intervene before the symptoms get worse. Don’t lose hope. Seek help.
- Agitation (sometimes associated with any of the following)
- Decline in motor functions
- Difficulty organizing
- Getting lost in familiar places
- Losing track of time
- Memory loss
- Stops recognizing family or friends
What Causes Dementia?
Abnormal changes to the brain, generally associated with the aging process, can cause a rapid and irreversible decline in important cognitive functions. These affect speech, comprehension, and memory. A loss of good judgement leads to problems such as wandering or getting lost.
A degenerative condition, dementia has been linked to damaged brain connections and damaged nerve cells .Often it is the result of other conditions such as strokes or traumatic brain injuries. Degenerative conditions, such as Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, can hasten dementia.
Dementia risk is increased by high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There is also a higher risk if the patient has diabetes. Smoking and heavy alcohol use are also factors.
Dementia Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease
Another reason to get help for dementia is to determine whether the problem is Alzheimer’s. Up to 80 percent of the people who have dementia also have Alzheimer’s. Basically the brain is deteriorating, leading to the many symptoms we’ve discussed. A combination of lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors are generally blamed for the condition.
The important thing to remember is that, in the early stages, the associated cognitive decline can be reversed. That makes it of paramount importance that patients be assessed, diagnosed, and treated as soon as symptoms are noticed.
Medications may help with certain problems, such as sleeplessness and mood. There are some medications that can slow the rate of decline and perhaps improve memory. Physical rehabilitation can help restore capability and confidence. It has also been shown to help lift depression.
Oversight is key with dementia patients. They often need help managing their regular medications. Eating a healthy diet is another important goal. When daily tasks become too much, they may need different living arrangements.
There’s no cure for dementia yet, but there are ways to manage it and allow the person to live a fuller life. Let us help. Schedule your appointment online today or call during office hours.