14 Apr About Dementia
Dementia is a general term that refers to a progressive decline in intellectual ability characterized by memory loss, impaired judgment, deterioration of abstract thinking and language, and personality changes. Symptoms appear gradually so that it may take months or even years before a diagnosis is made.
Dementia should not be confused with age-associated memory impairment, which is a clinical term that refers to the normal forgetfulness that is expected with age (for example, having difficulty recalling a name). Dementia, by contrast, involves problems in multiple areas of cognition (thinking) and results in serious impairment.
Dementia can be irreversible or reversible, but most cases of Dementia are irreversible. The most common cause of irreversible Dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is responsible for about 65 percent of Dementia cases. Vascular disease is also a primary cause of irreversible Dementia.
Reversible Dementia is caused by a number of potentially treatable conditions, which include depression, alcohol abuse, vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid disease, and side effects of medication. However, despite its label, reversible memory loss is often only partially restored.
Symptoms of Dementia
- Memory Loss
- Language Impairments
- Difficulty with learning and retaining new information
- Difficulty handling complex tasks
- Impaired judgement
- Getting lost or distorted in familiar places
- Personality changes, such as becoming more irritable or less responsive than usual
What causes Dementia?
* Reduced blood flow to the brain, often resulting from a series of tiny strokes (known as infarcts), causes vascular dementia; other causes include chronic high blood pressure, diabetes, or coronary heart disease
*Another irreversible dementia (dementia with Lewey bodies) is caused by abnormal structures within nerve cells that are distributed throughout the brain
*Pick’s disease is the main cause of frontotemporal dementia, in which patients display personality changes and compulsive behaviors
*Irreversible dementia may also be caused by other diseases, which include Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
*Reversible dementias have a number of causes, including alcohol abuse, infections, such as AIDS or neurosyphilis, brain tumors, and reactions to certain medications.
Complex care needs
Especially as symptoms progress, the needs of your loved one may be too much for you to manage alone. Many individuals with Alzheimer’s require 24-hour observation and care, keep unusual or reversed schedules, and become completely dependent on physical support. If you find that you are awake and caregiving at all hours of the day, have difficulty with physical tasks such as transferring, or feel unequipped to respond to behavioral changes, our professional caregivers can be an invaluable resource.
Overwhelming demands on your time
You may be balancing family, career, and social responsibilities on top of caregiving. Often, personal time is de-prioritized to the detriment of your physical, emotional, and mental health.
Increased personal anxiety and stress
If you begin to feel regular anxiety, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and other symptoms of stress or depression, you may require respite. In fact, over half of family caregivers report clinically significant symptoms of depression. A caregiver can ensure safety for your loved one and give you time to recuperate and address personal needs.
Many clients have a caregiver only during the night, on weekends, or for transportation to medical appointments. Family Tree In-Home Care is totally flexible and happy to provide care whenever and wherever needed.
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