According to the National Institute on Aging NIA: Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.
An In-Depth Look At Dementia
Dementia isn’t just an individual disease by itself, but is usually a common term to describe the symptoms of deterioration in thinking, communicating, and memory. Although the likelihood of having dementia develops with age, it is not considered a typical part of aging.
What Are The 5 Top Causes Of Dementia?
Neurodegenerative Cause of Dementia – Is the process of where the brain cells (neurons) break down and die.
Cerebrovascular Cause of Dementia – Is a common type of dementia where blood vessels in the brain are narrowed cutting off the blood supply.
Infection Associated Dementia– A parasite, virus, and some bacteria’s can cause an infection that can lead to dementia.
Toxic and Metabolic Cause of Dementia – As a result of a chemical imbalance; toxins, such as drugs, malnutrition, or biological factors, can cause dementia.
Traumatic Causes of Dementia – As a result of concussions, severe brain and head injuries can lead to dementia.
What Are the Different Stages Of Dementia?
Usually, dementia goes through around 7 stages. It also varies depending on what area of the brain that is affected.
1) No Impairment:
Your loved one at this stage will likely show no symptoms, but taking a test may expose a problem.
2) Very Mild Decline:
You may notice minor changes in behavior, but your loved one will still have their independence.
3) Mild Decline:
You will notice more differences in their reasoning and thinking. They may have difficulty making plans, remembering recent events, and they may repeat themselves over and over.
4) Moderate Decline:
They’ll have more of a hard time with making plans and remembering more recent events. They also may have problems with handling money or traveling.
5) Moderately Severe Decline:
They may not remember their own phone number or some of their family and friends names. They may be puzzled about what time of day it is or which day of the week it is. At this point, they will need help with some basic functions, such as picking out what to wear.
6) Severe Decline:
They will start to forget the name of their significant other. They will need using the restroom and eating. You may also notice changes in their emotions and personality.
7) Very Severe Decline:
They can no longer speak what they’re thinking. They can no longer walk and will spend most of their time bedridden.
What are Treatments for Dementia?
Although there is no cure for dementia, there are step you can take to make your loved one’s life a little easier. A good rule of thumb is to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.
Psychotherapy, in a specific behavioral approach, can be used to reduce the recurrence or severity of problematic behaviors, like improper conduct or aggression towards others.
Adjusting the environment can greatly increase their safety and comfort while decreasing their agitation. Home modifications for safety include removal of hazardous items, such as scissors or forks, harmful chemicals and tools. Use child-proof items like electrical outlet covers and door locks may also be used to limit access.
Although no medications are available to stop or cure dementia there are medications that can be prescribed to decrease the dementia signs. Nowadays there are many types of drugs available for improving brain function. Usually, other psychotropic and anti-dementia drugs are prescribed.
Phoenix Valley Dementia Care
If you have a loved one who’s suffering from dementia it can be a stressful experience to provide care for them. As seniors progress through the stages of dementia the task can become a full time, round the clock job. Our staff cares for dementia residents in our Memory Care Facilities in the Phoenix Valley. Staff is on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and takes care of all of the various needs associated with the stages of dementia. Residents are compassionately cared for and their ability levels are respected. Click here for more information about our Memory Care Communities.