Early Symptoms Of Dementia
Although the early signs vary, common early symptoms of dementia include:
- memory problems, particularly remembering recent events
- increasing confusion
- apathy and withdrawal or depression
- loss of ability to do everyday tasks.
Sometimes, people fail to recognise that these symptoms indicate that something is wrong. They may mistakenly assume that such behaviour is a normal part of the ageing process. Symptoms may also develop gradually and go unnoticed for a long time. Also, some people may refuse to act, even when they know something is wrong.
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Could This Be You
You keep forgetting where youve placed your keys, you walk around the supermarket trying to remember the one thing you went in there to get, or you walk upstairsthen rack your brain trying to remember why you went up. Everyone has moments like this and theyre usually nothing to worry about. But its still useful to know what to look out for in case these senior moments do become a little more serious.
How Dementia Is Different From Senility
While senility is a loosely used and somewhat inaccurate and negative reference to cognitive loss, dementia is an accepted medical term.
Dementia includes a broad range of brain conditions that cause a progressive decline in a persons ability to think and remember. Moreover, the loss of these abilities makes it increasingly difficult for people to function or care for themselves.
The most common causes of dementia include Alzheimers disease, followed by vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. Other less common causes include Huntingtons disease, tertiary syphilis, HIV-associated dementia, and CreutzfeldtJakob disease.
While there is no cure for dementia, the progression of the condition is typically slow. When faced with evidence of dementia, doctors will usually classify it by stage based on symptoms. Based on the findings, the stage of the condition may be classified as follows:
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What Is Difference Between Senility And Dementia
- Your local community health centre
- National Dementia Helpline Dementia Australia Tel. 1800 100 500
- Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
- My Aged Care 1800 200 422
- Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
- Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
- Commonwealth Carelink and Respite Centres Australian Government Tel. 1800 052 222
- Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers
Forgetfulness That Disrupts Daily Life: The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimers Disease
When someone shows signs of forgetfulness, its easy to jump to conclusions. Is it dementia? Alzheimers? And whats the difference? Well help you unravel these similar, but different terms. There is often misunderstanding about the difference between Alzheimers and the many forms of dementia, but diagnosis and good care depend on having knowledge of these conditions.
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Summary Of Dementia Vs Senility
- Dementia and senility can both appear as forgetfulness.
- Senility is an old-fashioned term that was used to also indicate dementia.
- Senility may or may not indicate dementia.
- Dementia is a severe form of senility that is progressive and worsens.
- Dementia is progressive and usually becomes worse over time.
- Dementia can take many forms including Alzheimers disease, but it can also occur with vascular problems or infections.
Difference Between Alzheimers And Senile Dementia
ALZHEIMERS VS. SENILE DEMENTIA
Old age and the loss of mental faculties are an unfortunate but harsh reality. Alzheimers disease is, perhaps, the most common and debilitating of this type of affliction. However, most people are unaware that Alzheimers disease is only one disease under the larger umbrella that is Senile Dementia. Alzheimers maybe the most infamous, but there are many other forms of this condition.
Senile Dementia can be considered as an all-encompassing term utilized to indicate the deterioration and eventual loss of intellectual acuity related to advanced aging, and is caused by degeneration of ones brain cells. Alzheimers disease is often confused as either the same or alternatively it is often considered to be something entirely different from it. Yes and no yes, Alzheimers disease is a condition that qualifies as Senile Dementia, but Alzheimers is actually one of the forms of it. Other forms of Senile Dementia include Fronto-temporal Dementia, Lewy Body disease, Parkinsons disease, and Vascular Dementia. Alzheimers, meanwhile, is the most common of these. It should also not be confused with normal senility.
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Memory Loss Versus Dementia
It can be hard to distinguish between normal age-related memory loss and dementia. Here are some examples of age-related memory loss versus dementia.
|Age-Related Memory Loss:|
|While driving, they miss a turn and then realize it||While driving, they get disoriented and confused in a familiar area|
|Forgetting which word to use occasionally||Struggling to have a conversation|
|Making poor decisions from time to time||Consistent poor judgment and decision making|
|Forgetting what day it is, but remembering later on||Inability to remember the date or year|
Memory loss can be caused by other medical conditions such as an infection, metabolic, thyroid, or immune disorders, head injuries, vitamin deficiencies, and more. Certain medications can have interactions or side effects that create dementia-like symptoms. Once these conditions are treated, these symptoms typically subside.
If you suspect a loved one is experiencing symptoms of dementia, consult with a healthcare professional. They will be able to determine the cause and come up with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Brain Exercises To Combat Memory Loss
Just as physical exercise can make and keep your body stronger, mental exercise can make your brain work better and lower your risk of mental decline. Try to find brain exercises that you find enjoyable. The more pleasurable an activity is to you, the more powerful its effect will be on your brain. You can make some activities more enjoyable by appealing to your sensesby playing music during the exercise, for example, or lighting a scented candle, or rewarding yourself after youve finished.
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Is It Memory Loss Or Dementia
As we age, our brain undergoes changes that impact our cognitive abilities and its physical structure both of which are a normal part of aging. Older adults may need more time to accomplish certain tasks as their cognition slows down. Multitasking, focusing, and remembering certain things arent as easy as they used to be.
While mild forgetfulness and slow cognitive decline are typical of aging, memory loss thats severe enough to impact daily life can be a sign of dementia.
Learn the differences between typical age-related memory loss and dementia, and how professional memory care can help those with dementia stay safe and well.
Memory Care At Unicity Healthcare
Unicity Healthcare takes an individualized approach to caring for adults with Alzheimers or Dementia. We understand that no two clients are the same, and, as such, we develop an individualized service plan, incorporating all aspects of the persons life and family. There are several steps to our process, and each is important in creating the Unicity Homecare approach, one that stresses personalization, dedication and quality care.
All our staffs undergo regular training sessions on Alzheimers and other form of dementia related disease. Our Care Managers are dementia experts/ practitioners and they have significant experience dealing with Alzheimers clients and their family. Our in depth care assessments are customized and include, among several other cognitive tests, an interpretation of Folsteins Mini-Mental State Exam. Safety being a major concern when dealing with Alzheimers people at home, our assessment includes a review of the elderlys home environment. Because the person may experience changes in judgment, orientation to time and place, behavior and senses, our Care Managers make sure the home environment is safe and supportive.
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Middle Stages Of Dementia
In those stages, patients may still be able to live independently, although they will require more assistance with their activities of daily living. Managing finances, and assistance with dressing and bathing are commonly needed, as people with mid-stage dementia often experience more confusion, additional memory loss, sleep pattern disturbances such as sleeping during the day and restlessness at night.
How Do The Symptoms Of Dementia And Alzheimers Compare
There are a really wide range of possible dementia symptoms, but Alzheimers symptoms are a little more specific. Dementia symptoms vary depending on what is causing the dementia, and also vary from one person to the next. The main dementia symptoms fall into three different groups:
- Difficulties with remembering, thinking and language. The person might be forgetful, repeat questions, struggle to remember words and have conversations, or be disoriented.
- Difficulties with daily activities. They might struggle with their routine maybe becoming unhygienic or neglecting their home. They might also get lost in familiar places.
- Emotional and behavioural difficulties. There are a whole range of these, including being withdrawn or apathetic, low or anxious, suspicious of others, or even aggressive. The person could also be restless and have trouble sleeping.
The different causes of dementia may have different symptoms in the early stages. But as the conditions progress, someone is more likely to have the full range of dementia symptoms.
In Alzheimers specifically, the first thing that tends to appear is memory problems. The person might also lose interest in their favourite activities or hobbies. As time goes on, these problems will get worse. The person may get more confused, and struggle to plan and follow instructions. In the later stages of Alzheimers, more serious symptoms like hallucinations, aggression, depression and incontinence can appear.
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Normal Forgetfulness Vs Dementia
For most people, occasional lapses in short-term memory are a normal part of the aging process, not a warning sign of serious mental deterioration or the onset of Alzheimers or another dementia.
The following types of memory lapses are normal among older adults and generally are not considered warning signs of dementia:
- Occasionally forgetting where you left things you use regularly, such as glasses or keys.
- Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your sons name.
- Occasionally forgetting an appointment or walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.
- Becoming easily distracted or having trouble remembering what youve just read, or the details of a conversation.
- Not quite being able to retrieve information you have on the tip of your tongue.
The Presence Of Other Symptoms
Memory loss alone may not indicate dementia, as memory loss is only one symptom of early-onset dementia. “There are many types of dementia, and the types that are most likely to present early, typically affect other cognitive domains of the brain that donât have anything to do with memory,” says Absar. These can include sudden changes in personality and behavior, changes in language, and difficulty with walking or balance. If you are experiencing any of these things, do not panic. Speaking with your doctor can help you to figure out the best course of treatment.
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Explaining Alzheimers Vs Dementia Vs Natural Memory Loss
The sad and scary truth is: 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimers disease. Over the next 30 years that number is expected to nearly triple . The impact of the disease extends far and wide, impacting family members and friends who serve as caregivers. In fact, its estimated that 16.1 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimers and other types of dementia. As the US population ages, you are going to see patients with Alzheimers and Dementia, and their family members, more and more frequently. How do you explain the differences between Alzheimers, Dementia and natural age-related memory loss to patients and their families?
Widespread awareness of Alzheimers has caused most people to know its basic signs and symptoms thats a good thing. However, it has also caused many to assume that any memory loss must be Alzheimers thats not a good thing. Few people know that Alzheimers disease is just one type of dementia and that age-related memory loss does exist.
Spot It: Normal Forgetfulness
What happens: As we get older, our brains change making it harder for us to dredge up certain facts or memories that were stored there. This can mean it might takes us longer to learn or recall information, though most of the time whatever you seem to have forgotten will come back to you eventually!
Why: The hormones and proteins that repair brain cells and stimulate growth in the brain start to decline with age.
Typical symptoms: You occasionally forget where you left keys or glasses You sometimes forget an appointment You occasionally forget the details of a conversation You have tip of the tongue moments with words
But: This kind of forgetfulness caused by normal ageing is NOT the same as having significant memory loss.
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Ability To Complete Common Tasks
Early-onset dementia can lead to the inability to perform certain tasks that were at one point easy, such as finding directions, solving problems, managing finances, performing previously mastered tasks at work, etc. “In memory loss due to aging, the general processing speed may slow down, one may have occasional difficulty recalling new names or ideas, and once in a while, one may lose track of thought in a conversation,”Ayesha Sherzai, MD author of The Alzheimerâs Solution, tells Bustle. “But generally one is able to carry out all the activities of daily living without much difficulty.”
The Truth About Aging And Dementia
As we age, our brains change, but Alzheimers disease and related dementias are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, up to 40% of dementia cases may be prevented or delayed. It helps to understand whats normal and whats not when it comes to brain health.
Normal brain aging may mean slower processing speeds and more trouble multitasking, but routine memory, skills, and knowledge are stable and may even improve with age. Its normal to occasionally forget recent events such as where you put your keys or the name of the person you just met.
In the United States, 6.2 million people age 65 and older have Alzheimers disease, the most common type of dementia. People with dementia have symptoms of cognitive decline that interfere with daily lifeincluding disruptions in language, memory, attention, recognition, problem solving, and decision-making. Signs to watch for include:
Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias are not an inevitable part of aging. There are 7 ways to help maintain your brain health.
- Not being able to complete tasks without help.
- Trouble naming items or close family members.
- Forgetting the function of items.
- Repeating questions.
- Taking much longer to complete normal tasks.
- Misplacing items often.
- Being unable to retrace steps and getting lost.
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Does Your Memory Loss Affect Your Ability To Function
The primary difference between age-related memory loss and dementia is that the former isnt disabling. The memory lapses have little impact on your daily performance and ability to do what you want to do. Dementia, on the other hand, is marked by a persistent, disabling decline in two or more intellectual abilities such as memory, language, judgment, and abstract thinking.
When memory loss becomes so pervasive and severe that it disrupts your work, hobbies, social activities, and family relationships, you may be experiencing the warning signs of Alzheimers disease, or another disorder that causes dementia, or a condition that mimics dementia.
Symptoms Specific To Frontotemporal Dementia
Although Alzheimer’s disease is still the most common type of dementia in people under 65, a higher percentage of people in this age group may develop frontotemporal dementia than older people. Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 45-65.
Early symptoms of frontotemporal dementia may include:
- personality changes reduced sensitivity to others’ feelings, making people seem cold and unfeeling
- lack of social awareness making inappropriate jokes or showing a lack of tact, though some people may become very withdrawn and apathetic
- language problems difficulty finding the right words or understanding them
- becoming obsessive such as developing fads for unusual foods, overeating and drinking
Read more about frontotemporal dementia.
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What To Expect At Your Doctors Visit
The doctor will ask you a lot of questions about your memory, including:
- How long have you or others noticed a problem with your memory?
- What kinds of things have been difficult to remember?
- Did the difficulty come on gradually or suddenly?
- Are you having trouble doing ordinary things?
The doctor also will want to know what medications youre taking, how youve been eating and sleeping, whether youve been depressed or stressed lately, and other questions about whats been happening in your life. Chances are the doctor will also ask you or your partner to keep track of your symptoms and check back in a few months. If your memory problem needs more evaluation, your doctor may send you to a neuropsychologist.
Memory Loss And Dementia
In this series
Memory loss has a number of causes, one of which is dementia. Dementia is a progressive condition which causes deteriorating mental function which interferes with activities of daily living.
In this article
Dementia affects functions such as:
- Social behaviour
However, dementia is not the only cause of memory loss. Indeed, most people who suffer lapses in memory do not have dementia.
It is normal for memory to deteriorate a little as we get older: this doesn’t necessarily mean we are developing dementia. It is normal for memory not to work well when we are distracted or concentrating on too many things at the same time. That’s why memory lapses are more common if we are stressed. Physical and mental illness can all temporarily affect memory too.
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