What To Do If You Think Your Parent Has Dementia
You notice that Mom keeps telling you things on the phone that she told you about just days before. Maybe you travel to visit your father over the summer and are greeted by him wearing a winter coat and greeting your son by the wrong name.
Theres no denying it anymoresomething is wrong. Youre worried about their memory issues and decide its time to have a gentle conversation with them about your concerns. But how do you approach the conversation without hurting their feelings or making them defensive?
Here are some tips for having the conversation with your parent:
- Think about who is the best person to talk with them about it. Would it be easier coming from your sibling or another trusted family member or friend?
- Practice the conversation beforehand so you have an idea of what youre going to say.
- Offer support.
- Anticipate that your parent may deny the problem.
The next step is to talk to your parents doctor. Encourage them to schedule a visit and offer to go along if they would like. Once you have answers, you can start evaluating their living options.
Perhaps its no longer best for their health if they remain at home. In that case, there are options available to you, including memory support in a Life Plan Community that offers a full continuum of care.
Remember, you do not have to carry this burden alone. Talk with health professionals and seek advice from senior living experts if you have questions or concerns.
Whats The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimers Disease
Dr. Larry Lawhorne discusses the difference between dementia and Alzheimers disease. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.
A very common cause of dementia is Alzheimers disease, accounting for 40 to 60 percent of all cases of dementia. But there many causes of dementia, such as vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus and frontotemporal dementia. The most common after Alzheimers disease is vascular dementia. Vascular dementia occurs in a setting of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and other cardiovascular diseases. While Alzheimers patients lose function slowly, people with vascular dementia lose their ability to remember and think in a step-wise progression.
Making a diagnosis can be complicated because now we think there is mixed dementia. Someone may be on his way to developing Alzheimers disease but may also have enough vascular risk factors to have vascular dementia, too. Lewy body dementia is an interesting and distinctive disorder. People with Lewy body dementia often first experience visual hallucinations. They may also have some movement disorder. They may have a little bit of tremor. They may have problems walking. People with Lewy body dementia are also very sensitive to antipsychotic medicines, which tend to make them much more unsteady.
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The 10 Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease
We’ve already mentioned the main cause of Alzheimer’s. And we’ve discussed some of the top risk factors for developing this disease. Here are;more factors that could increase your risk for all three types of Alzheimer’s:
Unfortunately, scientists have yet to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. But managing these Alzheimer’s risk factors early on can help reduce the chances of developing this disorder later in life.
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Early Symptoms Of Dementia
Dementia is a collection of symptoms that can occur due to a variety of possible diseases. Dementia symptoms include impairments in thought, communication, and memory.
If you or your loved one is experiencing memory problems, dont immediately conclude that its dementia. A person needs to have at least two types of impairment that significantly interfere with everyday life to receive a dementia diagnosis.
In addition to difficulty remembering, the person may also experience impairments in:
How Are They Different
When a person is diagnosed with dementia, they are being diagnosed with a set of symptoms. This is similar to someone who has a sore throat. Their throat is sore but it is not known what is causing that particular symptom. It could be allergies, a common cold or strep throat. Similarly, when someone has dementia they are experiencing symptoms without being told what is causing those symptoms.
Another major difference between the two is that Alzheimers is not a reversible disease. It is degenerative and incurable at this time. Some forms of dementia, such as a drug interaction or a vitamin deficiency, are actually reversible or temporary.
Once a cause of dementia is found, appropriate treatment and counseling can begin. Until a proper diagnosis is made, the best approach to any dementia is communication, engagement and loving care.
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The Difference Between Dementia And Senility
When an adult child begins to notice changes in a senior loved one, they might wonder if it is normal aging or something else. Its often hard for families to understand the differences when it comes to aging vs. dementia vs. senility. But there are distinct differences.The Differences Between Dementia and SenilityPeople often mistakenly think that dementia is just another name for Alzheimers disease, and that dementia and senility are one and the same.But dementia is actually a variety of medical conditions and illnesses that impair a persons cognitive health. Alzheimers disease is one type of dementia.Typical dementia symptoms can include memory loss, decline in abstract thought process, loss of verbal communication skills and a change in personality.
There are a number of different types of dementia. A few of the more common ones include:
- Alzheimers disease accounting for as much as 70 80% of all dementias
- Parkinsons dementia occurring in the later stages of Parkinsons disease
- Vascular dementia caused by a stroke or other interruption of blood flow to the brain
Senility, by contrast, is an older term used to describe a decline in an older adults physical and cognitive health. Like dementia, senility can cause changes in mental health, such as memory loss or a decline in judgment.But senility symptoms can also include physical changes such as:
- Stiff joints
- Wrinkling of the skin
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Brittle bones or bone loss
The Types Of Dementia
Doctors categorize dementia into different types based on the diseases and/or disorders that cause it. In general, you can distinguish between progressive disorders;causing irreversible dementia, diseases;causing dementia, and conditions causing reversible dementia-like symptoms.
Examples of conditions;causing irreversible dementia include Alzheimer’s, Vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, and Frontotemporal dementia.
Diseases like Huntington’s, Creutzfeld-Jakob, and Parkinson’s also lead to dementia in later stages. And traumatic brain injuries can cause so much brain damage, they can sometimes lead to dementia down the line.
Finally,;some forms of dementia are reversible. Some infections, medications, and nutritional deficiencies can cause memory loss as a symptom. With treatment and/or cessation of medication, memory can return.
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Now Dementia On The Other Hand Has Several Different Stages Including The Following :
The imaging techniques such as computed tomography scan of the brain might show some changes but the person does not exhibit any of the cognitive signs and symptoms.
- The person starts forgetting words or misplacing objects; this may go unnoticed by people around them.
- It should be remembered that this stage might also occur due to the normal;aging;process.
- The person suffers from short-term memory;lossforgetting what they just read and the names of new acquaintances.
- They cant make plans or organize things as earlier.
- They might frequently start misplacing and losing things.
- The person starts to lose interest in the things that they used to enjoy and avoids meeting people and, attending social events.
- Calculating simple expenses and adding up the financial bills becomes difficult.
- They become disoriented to time and placethey forget or figure out the present time, date, and place
- The signs and symptoms of cognitive decline become clear to everyone around the patient.
- Clinical diagnosis of dementia is most likely to be made at this stage.
- The person experiences major memory disturbances such as forgetting their phone number and address.
- They may forget how to bathe and face trouble while choosing and wearing clothes.
Stage 6 :;
Stage 7 :;
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Dementia With Lewy Bodies
Dementia with Lewy bodies, also known as Lewy body dementia, is caused by protein deposits in nerve cells. This interrupts chemical messages in the brain and causes memory loss and disorientation.
People with this type of dementia also experience visual hallucinations and have trouble falling asleep at night or fall asleep unexpectedly during the day. They also might faint or become lost or disoriented.
Dementia with Lewy bodies shares many symptoms with Parkinson and Alzheimer diseases. For example, many people develop trembling in their hands, have trouble walking, and feel weak.
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What Stage Of Dementia Is Anger
Aggressive Behavior by Stage of Dementia
The middle stages of dementia are when anger and aggression are most likely to start occurring as symptoms, along with other worrying habits like wandering, hoarding, and compulsive behaviors that may seem unusual.
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Talking With Your Health Care Provider
Aging is a difficult process for many people, and talking to your health care provider about your concerns can be very beneficial. They can provide you with information and resources to help ease your concerns or improve your quality of life if you have any of these conditions.
There are simple screening tests that health care professionals can perform during routine medical visits, Ory said. Knowing the signs and symptomatology of dementia is important as there are medications that can reduce your symptomatology, and, along with being more active and engaging in other healthy lifestyles, can improve your quality of life.
Although there are no medications or treatment that can cure dementia or Alzheimers, medications and a healthy lifestyle will help you process your condition as well as possible. Ask your physician about safety and limitations. There is nothing shameful about having dementia.
Before people talked about dementia in medical terms, theyd say that the patient was crazy or senile, Ory said. People dont use those terms now because they recognize its a medical condition and not about personality or willpower. Alzheimers and dementia are far too common and are not something we can ignore.
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Talking With A Doctor
After considering the persons symptoms and ordering screening tests, the doctor may offer a preliminary diagnosis or refer the person to a Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinic, neurologist, geriatrician or psychiatrist.Some people may be resistant to the idea of visiting a doctor. In some cases, people do not realise, or else they deny, that there is anything wrong with them. This can be due to the brain changes of dementia that interfere with the ability to recognise or appreciate the changes occurring. Others have an insight of the changes, but may be afraid of having their fears confirmed.One of the most effective ways to overcome this problem is to find another reason for a visit to the doctor. Perhaps suggest a check-up for a symptom that the person is willing to acknowledge, such as blood pressure, or suggest a review of a long-term condition or medication.Another way is to suggest that it is time for both of you to have a physical check-up. Any expressed anxiety by the person is an excellent opportunity to suggest a visit to the doctor. Be sure to provide a lot of reassurance. A calm, caring attitude at this time can help overcome the person’s very real worries and fears.Sometimes, your friend or family member may refuse to visit the doctor to ask about their symptoms. You can take a number of actions to get support including:
- talking with other carers who may have had to deal with similar situations
- contacting your local Aged Care Assessment Team
Alzheimers Disease & Dementia
Alzheimers disease is both a type and cause of dementia. As a degenerative brain disease that is caused by complex changes to the brain following cell damage, Alzhemiers can lead to symptoms associated with a decline in memory and thinking skills . Since Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementiaaccounting for 60-80% of casesmany people often confuse the two or mistake them for the same thing.
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What Is The Number 1 Healthiest Food In The World
So, having scoured the full list of applicants, we have crowned kale as the number 1 healthiest food out there. Kale has the widest range of benefits, with the fewest drawbacks when stacked up against its competitors.
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Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimers
Dementia is not a single disease but a general term, like heart disease, covering a range of specific medical conditions. The term dementia describes a range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimers disease. In general, dementia describes disorders in which abnormal brain changes occur. These changes cause a decline in thinking skills that can impair independent function and daily life. Dementia also affects behaviour, feelings, and relationships. What is dementia disease? You can refer to our previous articles to find out the answer to this question.
With complex brain changes following cell damage, Alzheimers leads to dementia symptoms that steadily worsen. The main early sign of Alzheimers is difficulty learning new information because the disease typically affects the region of the brain associated with learning first.
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You Asked: Whats The Difference Between Alzheimers Disease And Dementia
While often used interchangeably, dementia and Alzheimers disease are not the same. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimers disease is a specific type of dementia that causes memory loss and impairment of other important mental functions. An expert from the Texas A&M School of Public Health describes how these conditions can impact the lives of both patients and those around them, and provides insights into ways of minimizing risks.
Difference Between Dementia And Vascular Dementia
Dementia and vascular dementia are characterized by a progressive decline of cognition and independent functioning. Regarding their differences, dementia is an overall term for conditions which are caused by abnormal brain changes. On the other hand, vascular dementia is widely regarded as the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimers disease. The following discussions further delve into these distinctions.;
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How To Prevent Dementia
Just because your mom or brother developed a form of dementia, that doesnt mean youre destined to have it as well. The good news is that there are things that we can be doing in our life to reduce our risk, says Sexton. Keep activephysically active, cognitively active, and socially activeand reduce cardiovascular risk factors. Other known risk factors for dementia include obesity, hypertension, and diabetes so monitoring and managing those conditions can help. Of course, theres no guarantee, but its smart to do whatever you can now to lower the likelihood that you will suffer from dementia later.
This is an extremely active area of research, says Sexton. She says major discoveries are on the horizon in the areas of diagnostic blood tests for dementia, modifiable risk factors like air pollution, and risk factors that vary between different populations of people. So keep an eye out for news and check out these sites to see if you or a loved one qualify to participate in research studies.
Struggling To Adapt To Change
For someone in the early stages of dementia, the experience can cause fear. Suddenly, they cant remember people they know or follow what others are saying. They cant remember why they went to the store, and they get lost on the way home.
Because of this, they might crave routine and be afraid to try new experiences. Difficulty adapting to change is also a typical symptom of early dementia.
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What To Do If Youre Worried About Your Memory
If you suspect youre experiencing any warning signs of dementia , the first thing to do is see a physician. Dr. Scharre recommends asking for a cognitive assessment at your annual physical so your results can be compared year-over-year and declines can be identified and addressed right awayjust like a colonoscopy, blood pressure screening, or cholesterol testing.
As with any medical condition, typically the earlier you identify it, the more options you have for treatment and typically the better you do, he says. Some forms of dementia have treatable causes while others like Alzheimers are also treatable, just not reversible or curable. Thatnew medication the FDA approved for Alzheimers, for example, only works in the mild cognitive impairment stagethats where its sweet spot is and if you start getting even a little bit more than mild dementia its not useful.
What Is The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer’s Center
Dementia is a group of symptoms characterized by a decline in memory, thinking and reasoning. Although dementia is a cluster of symptoms, Alzheimers is a slowly progressive disorder of the brain that destroys memory and thinking skills. Read more: What Is the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s? Article
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