Do you have a family member, probably, an elderly who is showing early signs of dementia? If you know what this illness means, it is undoubtedly easy for you to tell if your loved one, even though it may be a part of aging,  is having a problem with his mental functions. But what if you don’t know anything about this memory loss sickness and you don’t know what to do if a senior in the family starts acting unusual?

This article will help you understand further what this health condition is and how it can affect the daily life of the elderly in the family. All of us will reach the age when we too, will experience some memory lapses. This is another good reason for you to learn more about this illness. With the right knowledge, you’ll be able to identify the risk factors, signs, and symptoms quickly, and if you are likely to develop dementia.  

Facts About the Illness

Dementia is a general term describing a group of symptoms that have something to do with deteriorating memory. The illness is also affecting a person’s ability to think and perform everyday activities and it progresses when the brain gets damaged by diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, for one. It reportedly has around 60 to 80 % of cases. Memory is not the only one in which dementia impacts.

Even people with this kind of sickness also encounter some changes in their behavior and mood. Most cases of dementia are advanced or progressive. This means that the symptoms have started slowly, and then they gradually worsen. If you have observed yourself or a family member to be experiencing this difficulty in memory, do not ignore your observation.

The best thing to do is to see a doctor the soonest as possible. Seeking professional assessment may help in the detection of the treatable condition.

Even if symptoms include this illness, early assessment lets a person get the most out of the benefit from the available cure and offers an opportunity to become volunteers for both the clinical studies and trials.  Early-stage may also provide time to plan. This will give you more time to prepare and discuss with the family what will be your next move—should you handle the situation on your own, or hire stay-in a caregiver to look after her.

Different Types of Dementia

Not all dementias are common in people. They differ in types, and it is essential for you to know each kind. Knowing the types of dementia will let you identify if the signs and symptoms you or your loved one experiences is already a particular dementia form. Three of the forms of this memory-loss illness are as follow:

  1.    Alzheimer’s Disease – This is the most typical dementia type. Medical experts describe it as a slow procedure of going backward at one time. While this type starts with short-term memory loss, people with Alzheimer’s encountering it remarkably return to earlier days. This is because the dementia patient does not remember the present time anymore.
  2.    Lewy Body Dementia – This is yet another typical kind of dementia. It is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed as dementia type. The symptoms of this kind are a combination of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms. Also, a primary determining factor is a visual hallucination, generally of smaller people or animals.
  3.    Vascular Dementia – This is also sometimes known as ‘post-stroke dementia.’ This type is different from the two models. It is a brain-damage traced to mini-strokes or cardiovascular issues that cause the danger in the brain. You are likely to have Vascular Dementia if you just had a stroke, and drastic changes have eventually taken place.

Signs and Symptoms to Watch and Monitor

The different dementia types tend to impact people differently specifically in their early phases. Other factors affecting how well a person can live with the illness include others respond to them and the environment surrounding them. Here are the following signs and symptoms to watch and monitor:

  • Everyday memory where there is no difficulty in recalling what just happened recently
  • Planning, connecting or organizing where there are difficulties in decision-making, problem-solving or merely doing simple tasks like cooking, for one
  • A language where there is a difficulty following any conversation or searching for the right word to say.
  • Visuospatial skills were problems with the judging of distance like when on stairs, and seeing things in three dimensions
  • Orientation where you can lose track of the date or day and start to become confused about where you are
Treating Dementia and Caring for the Person Who Has It

The treatment depends on the cause and symptoms. For the most progressive dementias which include Alzheimer’s disease, there is, unfortunately, no treatment or cure that can stop or slow the progression. However, there are medicines available to get rid of the symptoms temporarily.

The way to effective fresh dementia treatments is through rising research participation and funding in clinical studies. At present, there is an urgent need for volunteers to actively participate in clinical trials and studies about Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia forms.

Risk Factors and How to Prevent the Illness

Even though it was earlier mentioned that dementia is an incurable disease, there are different ways t do to prevent dementia risks. Some of the risk factors like genetics and age are unchangeable. However, researchers keep on exploring the effects of the other risk factors in the prevention of dementia, as well as on brain health. Below are some of the things you can do to lower the risk factors of dementia and prevent the illness:

  • Physical activity or exercise – Regularly doing this helps reduce the risk of some dementia types. Proofs suggest use may benefit the brain cells directly through the increase of oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
  • Diet – What you eat dramatically impacts one’s brain health through the effect on the health of the heart. The most compelling proof recommends that heart-friendly eating patterns like the Mediterranean diet help protect the brain too. This dietary program includes red meat, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, shellfish, nuts, fish, and olive oil, among others.