What Changes Can I Expect
- The first signs of young-onset dementia can be similar to those of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, although the sequence in which signs appear varies from person to person. Typical signs include:
- Personality changes, such as abruptness and insensitivity
- Frequent lapses of memory, particularly involving recent memories
- Forgetting appointments or the names of colleagues at work
- Unsettling moments of disorientation in previously familiar places
- Being unable to find the way home
- Becoming confused about familiar tasks such as handling money or placing a call
- Difficulty finding the right words
- Difficulty with voluntary movements or physical coordination
- Struggling to learn new things and adapting to changes at home or at work
- Losing interest in activities that were enjoyed previously
- Withdrawing from social contact
Common Causes Of Dementia
Medical intervention for dementia or dementia-like symptoms depends on the source of the problem. Although its widely believed that such conditions solely affect the elderly, thats inaccurate.
People of any age can experience these symptoms because the causes are related to a variety of health conditionsfrom traumatic brain injury to Alzheimers disease.
How Is Dementia Treated
Treatment of dementia depends on the underlying cause. Neurodegenerative dementias, like Alzheimers disease, have no cure, though there are medications that can help protect the brain or manage symptoms such as anxiety or behavior changes. Research to develop more treatment options is ongoing.
Leading a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, healthy eating, and maintaining social contacts, decreases chances of developing chronic diseases and may reduce number of people with dementia.
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What To Do If A Loved One Is Suspicious Of Having Dementia
- Discuss with loved one. Talk about seeing a medical provider about the observed changes soon. Talk about the issue of driving and always carrying an ID.
- Medical assessment. Be with a provider that you are comfortable with. Ask about the Medicare Annual Wellness exam.
- Family Meeting. Start planning, and gather documents like the Health Care Directive, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, Estate Plan.
Changes In Mood Or Emotion
The person may be more anxious, frightened or sad, and so at risk of depression. It is also common to become more irritable perhaps in frustration at lost abilities or easily upset. A person can often be more withdrawn, lack self-confidence and lose interest in hobbies or people.
Changes in behaviour are not common in early-stage dementia, other than in FTD. A person with behavioural variant FTD may lose their inhibitions and behave in socially inappropriate ways. They may also act impulsively and lose empathy for others.
Significant physical changes at this stage tend to be limited to DLB, where problems with movement are similar to Parkinsons disease. If someone with vascular or mixed dementia has a stroke, this can lead to weak limbs on one side.
Need help finding dementia information?
Everybody forgets things from time to time. But if you or other people are noticing that memory problems are getting worse, or affecting everyday life, it could be a sign of dementia.
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> > > Root Cause For Alzheimer And Dementia Found
A healthy diet can be a great memory loss remedy. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as low-fat proteins such as nuts and seeds. Drinking plenty of water is also beneficial. The environment and personal experiences can affect the way your brain stores information, and this can lead to memory loss. There are many other causes of temporary memory loss, and it is important to get help as soon as possible. You should consult a medical professional to determine what the best treatment will be for your particular situation. At What Age Can Dementia Start
A healthy diet is another effective memory loss remedy. A healthy diet should include plenty of vegetables and fruits. A healthy diet is a key component in memory improvement. This is the best way to prevent memory loss. The best way to do this is to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your daily routine. If you cant eat fruits and vegetables, you should avoid them altogether. They are packed with antioxidants that can help your brain.
Where To Live With Dementia
Eventually, caregiving for someone with dementia wont be appropriate anymore. The needs of a person with progressive dementia become overwhelming, and moving into a full-time residence with trained staff becomes necessary. You should plan for this well before it becomes necessary, by visiting communities and asking the right questions.
Depending on your loved ones stage of illness, different living options are available:
Assisted Living in Early StagesAssisted living residences combine room and board with medical and personal care, and are often sufficient for someone in the early stages of Alzheimers disease or related dementia. Full-time supervision means residents are safe, with living units like private studios or apartments so someone with mild dementia can still feel a sense of independence.
Services offered in assisted living include meals, help with activities of daily living , social activities, and transportation to and from doctors appointments. Before moving in, the residence will assess your loved one to make sure its a good fit.
Memory care residences have physical designs that are appropriate for people with dementia. Someone with Alzheimers, for instance, may become upset when encountering a wall, so memory care buildings have circular hallways. Because people with dementia are prone to wander, memory care residences have increased security and supervision, and special locks on doors.
Did You Know?
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At What Age Can Dementia Start
While there is no perfect memory loss remedy, there are several things that you can do to prevent it. First of all, exercising regularly can help keep your lungs in good shape. People who get regular exercise have better memories, and a regular exercise program can reduce stress. Additionally, exercising can help prevent memory loss by keeping your mind active. Here are some of the best ways to make your brain healthier and keep your mind sharp. Read on to learn more. At What Age Can Dementia Start
What Is Childhood Dementia
Childhood dementia results from progressive brain damage and is caused by over 70 rare genetic disorders. These conditions are genetic and children are born with them.
You may be familiar with some of the symptoms of adult dementia. Kids also suffer from these symptoms like confusion, loss of memory, loss of speech and more.
Each childs experience with dementia is unique. In some instances, dementia symptoms can appear in the youngest of children and babies and progress quickly. While for other children like Angelina, symptoms may not start until they are teenagers. All children with dementia, however, face one common challenge: childhood dementia is progressive. Over months, years or decades, as their brains are damaged more and more, they progressively lose skills theyve already developed such as the ability to write, read, talk, walk and play. Their brains also lose the ability to keep the body functioning properly and, eventually, to keep the body alive.
Due to little funding, research into treating or even slowing childhood dementia has been very limited. Most children die before turning 18. With awareness and more research, we can and will improve survival and quality of life for children with dementia. You can join the movement transforming life for children with dementia.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Younger Onset Dementia
The symptoms of dementia are similar no matter what age they start. They include:
- memory loss that interferes with daily life
- withdrawing from friends and family
- losing the ability to think clearly or make judgements
- language problems
- changes to behaviour
Many conditions can produce symptoms that are similar to dementia, such as vitamin and hormone deficiencies, depression, medication, infections and brain tumours.
What Causes Frontotemporal Dementia
Researchers have not identified a single cause for this type of dementia, but they have some ideas. Some peoples brains develop abnormal protein structures, called Pick bodies.
Researchers have also identified abnormal proteins that may play a role. These proteins, found in brain cells of individuals who died with dementia, may affect how the brain works. Researchers dont know why these proteins develop or how to prevent them.
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Why Knowing Life Expectancy Is Useful
Knowing what to expect, including life expectancy helps with planning. Someone predicted to survive for five or six years, as opposed to two years, will want to make more extensive plans, including getting an estate in order, activity planning, and budget. Knowing how quickly the disease is expected to progress symptomatically can impact care decisions. If the disease is predicted to come on very quickly, for example, then skipping traditional assisted living and looking into memory care or a nursing home might be the best option.
Knowing when full-time care becomes a requirement, either at-home or in a memory care residence, is especially useful given the high cost of care. It is estimated that 50% of nursing home residents have some level of dementia and over 60% of nursing home residents care is paid for by Medicaid. Medicaid eligibility is complicated, and families can spend up to 5 years waiting for a loved one with dementia to become Medicaid-eligible. Therefore, knowing how soon care is required can make a huge financial difference.
Contribute anonymously to our dementia life expectancy database. Start here.
Planning For The Future
Planning early makes it easier for someone with younger onset dementia to manage their financial, legal and medical affairs now and in the future.
If you have been diagnosed with younger onset dementia, it is important to make important decisions while you still can and while you are legally competent to sign any documents.
Things to think about include:
- your living arrangements into the future
- who can have access to your financial accounts
- having joint signatures on all financial accounts
- arranging when and how you will access your finances
- talking to a financial adviser
- sorting out superannuation, health and income insurance
- writing or updating your will
If you have been diagnosed with dementia, its important to nominate a trusted person to manage your affairs in the future. You can do this through an Enduring Power of Attorney .
A financial EPA enables a nominated person to look after your financial affairs if you become unable to do so. A medical EPA covers only medical decisions. The laws regarding EPAs vary between states and territories, so it’s important to seek legal advice before the agreement is completed, or if you are moving interstate.
Some states also have medical guardianship . This allows someone to choose a person to make medical decisions for them. For more information on guardianship and administrators, visit the My Aged Care website.
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My Dad Seems To Be Tired All The Time Lately
Sleep disruption is common with regards to both age-related sleep patterns and early onset dementia signs so it can be tricky to work out whats going on. But if you look out for accompanying symptoms specific to dementia you may be able to tell the difference. If you suspect it is more than just sleepiness make an appointment with your parents GP. For more information on how dementia symptoms can affect sleep please read our article on dementia and sleep.
Lbd Vs Alzheimers And Parkinsons
It is remarkable how similar LBD, PD, and Alzheimers disease are in their symptoms, causes, and treatment.
This table illustrates the symptoms they share. But they are just a small part of the symptoms experienced by those affected.
LBD has many symptoms. As the disease progresses or continues to grow, the symptoms worsen.
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Difficulty Determining Time Or Place
Losing track of dates and misunderstanding the passage of time as it occurs are also two common symptoms. Planning for future events can become difficult because they arent immediately occurring.
As symptoms progress, people with AD can become increasingly forgetful about where they are, how they got there, or why theyre there.
What’s The Life Expectancy Of A Person With Dementia
Theres no easy way to answer this question. Dementia is an umbrella term that covers the many different types of underlying neurodegenerative diseases.
Each type of neurodegenerative disease has its own unique pattern and development in each person. Also, each person has a unique health profile. Some people may be relatively healthy and others may have several co-existing health issues. All of these factors play a role in the pace of decline in a person with dementia.
To answer more broadly, Alzheimers is the most common type of dementia. The average lifespan after the earliest symptoms is eight years. However, some people have lived as long as 20 years after an Alzheimers disease diagnosis.
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Difficulty In Calculating Numbers And Handling Money Or Balancing The Cheque Book
Consistent financial problems and money struggles are high on the early signs of dementia checklist. These dementia symptoms include changes in an ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. This could include:
- Spending money more frivolously than usual
- Having difficult following a recipe with measurements
- Being uncharacteristically generous with money
- Struggling to keep track of monthly bills
If youre concerned about your parents ability to handle their finances, read our guide on protecting their legal and financial situation.
This is different to: common age-related issues such as missing a couple of debt repayments due to low income, making occasional errors with number calculations.
When To Contact A Doctor
A person who experiences any of these symptoms or notices them in a loved one should speak with a medical professional.
According to the Alzheimers Association, it is a myth that cognitive functioning always worsens as a person gets older. While minor forgetfulness can be a normal part of the aging process, if symptoms start to affect a persons everyday life, they may be serious. Signs of cognitive decline may signal dementia or another illness for which doctors can provide support.
Although there is no cure for dementia yet, a doctor can help slow the progression of the disease and ease the symptoms. This can improve a persons quality of life.
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Does Medicare Cover Dementia Care
Medicare covers some, but not all, of the costs associated with dementia care. This includes:
- inpatient stays at facilities like hospitals and skilled nursing facilities
- home health care
- prescription drugs
What isnt covered and how to help pay
Many people with dementia will need some kind of long-term care that includes custodial care. Custodial care involves help with daily activities such as eating, dressing, and using the bathroom.
Medicare doesnt typically cover long-term care. It also doesnt cover custodial care.
However, there are other resources that may help you to pay for long-term and custodial care. These include things like Medicaid, the Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly , and long-term care insurance policies.
Medicare Part A covers inpatient stays at places like hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Lets look at this a little more closely.
What Differences Are There To Late Onset Dementia
When compared to older people, younger people affected by dementia are more likely to:
- have a rarer form of dementia affecting behaviour and social functioning
- have a familial/inherited form of dementia
- report significantly higher psychological and physical distress
- experience employment issues
- have significant financial commitments such as a mortgage
- have a younger and more dependent family
- have additional caring responsibility for parents
There are differences in the types of dementia commonly diagnosed in younger people with dementia compared to those of an older age. For example, only about a third of dementias diagnosed in younger people are of the Alzheimers type in comparison to about 60% in the older age group. For more information visit our facts and figures page.
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Putting Things In The Wrong Place
Losing things or putting things in strange places, and then being unable to retrace steps to find them again is on the official observation list for early signs of dementia.
Sometimes someone else might be accused of stealing which may occur more frequently over time. For example, your dad may insist that a friend keeps stealing his money, whereas its in its regular hiding place.
Other examples that may indicate potential dementia symptoms could include:
- Teabags in the fridge and leaving the milk out
- Toothbrush in the washing basket
- Remote control in the cutlery drawer
- Dirty laundry in the dishwasher
Misplacing or losing items is more common in Alzheimers Disease, rather than vascular dementia. Find out more about the different types of dementia here.
This is different to: more normal age-related behaviours such as losing things but being able to retrace the steps to find them.
Dementia And Early Death
Across the globe, dementia rates are expected to double every 20 years for the foreseeable future, with an estimated 81 million cases by 2040.
It is clear from earlier studies that people with dementia have decreased survival compared with people without dementia. Even mild mental impairment linked to dementia is associated with an increase in death risk.
But the characteristics associated with mortality among patients with dementia have not been well understood.
There is general agreement that women with dementia tend to live slightly longer than men, but the impact of other characteristics, including education level, age at diagnosis, and marital status are less well known.
And many previous studies have been restricted to patients being treated for the disorder by a specialist or in a hospital setting, Brayne says.
“We wanted to see what is happening with the entire population, not just people who are treated for dementia,” she says.
Slightly over two-thirds of the people in the study who developed dementia were women, and the median age at dementia onset was 84 for women and 83 for men.
The median age at death was 90 for women and 87 for men. And average survival times varied from a high of 10.7 years for the youngest patients to a low of 3.8 years for the oldest .
As in other studies, dementia was associated with shorter survival, but the cognitive level among people with dementia did not appear to play a major role in death.
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