Living With Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is a progressive disease that has no cure, but the rate at which the disease progresses can vary. Some people with vascular dementia may eventually need a high level of care due to the loss of mental and physical abilities. Family members may be able to care for a person with vascular dementia early on. But if the disease progresses, the person may need more specialized care.
Respite programs, adult daycare programs, and other resources can help the caregiver get some time away from the demands of caring for a loved one with vascular dementia.
Long-term care facilities that specialize in the care of people with dementias, Alzheimer’s, and other related conditions are often available if a person affected by vascular dementia can no longer be cared for at home. Your healthcare provider can recommend caregiver resources.
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.
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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Stimulating Exercises For People With Dementia
Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning symptoms get worse over time. The progression of dementia is different for every individual for some people, it progresses rapidly, whereas for others, it may progress over the span of several years. However, research shows that cognitive stimulation helps reduce decline in cognitive function for individuals with mild to moderate dementia.
Here are 10 stimulating exercises for people with dementia:
1. Create a Memory Box
Since most forms of dementia affect an individuals memory, looking through a memory box with pictures of their loved ones and happy moments can be a great reminiscent activity. The memory box can consist of anything, not just pictures. It promotes engagement opportunities for patients living with dementia, as well as for their loved ones and caregivers.
2.Cook Simple Recipes
The process of cooking and baking requires motor skills, thinking, and short-term memory. Also, the smell or taste of their favourite childhood recipe allows the individual to have a reminiscent experience while cooking. Cooking healthy recipes helps improve general health, and is also beneficial for brain health.
3.Listen and Dance to Music
Similar to the memory box, listening to music that the individual enjoys can provide comfort and feelings of nostalgia. A bonus benefit of this activity is that it encourages dancing, a physical activity that helps keep you in healthy shape!
4 .Work on a Picture Puzzle
5. Household Chores
8. Read a Book
Dementia Terms You May Hear
- Alzheimers disease: the most common type of dementia, caused by clumps of proteins building up in the brain.
- Mild cognitive impairment: this can happen after a stroke. This is when someone has memory and thinking problems but they are not severe enough to interfere with their day-to-day activities.
- Other types of dementia: you may hear about dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia and young-onset dementia, as well as other rarer types.
- Small vessel disease: damage to the blood vessels deep inside the brain, often caused by high blood pressure.
- Vascular cognitive impairment: this describes all memory and thinking problems associated with stroke. It includes vascular dementia and mild cognitive impairment.
- Vascular dementia: problems with memory and thinking due to reduced blood flow in your brain.
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Are There Medicines To Treat Vascular Dementia
Though there is no cure for vascular dementia yet, there are medications that can help manage the symptoms. Sometimes medications used to treat memory problems in Alzheimers disease may be helpful for vascular dementia. Sometimes, people with vascular dementia can have mood changes, such as depression or irritability. These can be managed by medications like the ones used for depression or anxiety.
What Is Vascular Fementia
Vascular dementia is a decline in thinking skills caused by conditions that block or reduce blood flow to various regions of the brain, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients. Vascular dementia is considered the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimers disease, accounting for up to 30% of cases.
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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 Dementia Symptoms Types And Diagnosis
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning thinking, remembering, and reasoning to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of living.
Dementia is more common as people grow older but it is not a normal part of aging. Many people live into their 90s and beyond without any signs of dementia.
There are several different forms of dementia, including Alzheimers disease. A persons symptoms can vary depending on the type.
What Causes Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia is caused by a lack of blood flow to a part of the brain. Blood flow may be decreased or interrupted by:
- Blood clots
- Bleeding because of a ruptured blood vessel
- Damage to a blood vessel from atherosclerosis, infection, high blood pressure, or other causes, such as an autoimmune disorder
CADASIL is a genetic disorder that generally leads to dementia of the vascular type. One parent with the gene for CADASIL passes it on to a child, which makes it an autosomal-dominant inheritance disorder. It affects the blood vessels in the white matter of the brain. Symptoms, such as migraine headaches, seizures, and severe depression, generally start when a person is in his or her mid-30s but, symptoms may not appear until later in life.
The Use Of The Word Senile
The common use of the word senile loosely references the loss of cognitive abilities or the inability to think clearly. Although still occasionally used, this term has lost its popularity, partly because it has a negative, disrespectful tone, as in, The old man is senile.
Senile was used more commonly in the past, especially when memory loss and confusion were thought of, by some, as a normal consequence of getting older. The view used to be that the body and the mind both could be expected to decline together as someone aged, and that poor mental functioning was just a normal part of aging.
An individual was often described as having senile dementia or senile Alzheimers, meaning that the disease and its associated mental decline developed in older age.
Science now understands that significant memory loss, disorientation, and confusion are not normal parts of aging but rather are symptoms of a neurocognitive disorder such as Alzheimers, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, or Lewy body dementia.
Senile is sometimes used to describe the plaques that build up in the brain as Alzheimers disease progresses. These senile plaques are often described as one of the hallmarks of Alzheimers disease, along with neurofibrillary tangles.
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Walking And Physical Movement
Vascular dementia: Vascular dementia is often accompanied by some physical challenge. If a person has a stroke, they may have limited movement on one side of her body. Both the cognitive and physical impairments related to vascular dementia usually develop at the same time since they are often the result of a sudden condition like a stroke.
Alzheimers: Often, mental abilities like memory or judgment decline initially, and then as Alzheimer’s progresses into the middle stages, physical abilities like balance or walking show some deterioration.
The Effects Of Alzheimers On The Brain
Damage to the brain begins years before symptoms appear. Abnormal protein deposits form plaques and tangles in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease. Connections between cells are lost, and they begin to die. In advanced cases, the brain shows significant shrinkage.
Its impossible to diagnose Alzheimers with complete accuracy while a person is alive. The diagnosis can only be confirmed when the brain is examined under a microscope during an autopsy. However, specialists are able to make the correct diagnosis up to 90 percent of the time.
The symptoms of Alzheimers and dementia can overlap, but there can be some differences.
Both conditions can cause:
- behavioral changes
- difficulty speaking, swallowing, or walking in advanced stages of the disease
Some types of dementia will share some of these symptoms, but they include or exclude other symptoms that can help make a differential diagnosis. Lewy body dementia , for example, has many of the same later symptoms as Alzheimers. However, people with LBD but are more likely to experience initial symptoms such as visual hallucinations, difficulties with balance, and sleep disturbances.
People with dementia due to Parkinsons or Huntingtons disease are more likely to experience involuntary movement in the early stages of the disease.
Treatment for dementia will depend on the exact cause and type of dementia, but many treatments for dementia and Alzheimers will overlap.
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Warning Signs And Symptoms
The symptoms of dementia range in severity, and they also vary depending on the area of the brain that the condition affects. The most
- walking around for no apparent reason
- inappropriate behaviors, such as social and sexual disinhibition
Symptoms can take time to appear, and significant damage may be present before a person visits a doctor. This may make treatment more challenging.
How To Understand The Difference And Why It Matters
by Kathleen Fifield, AARP, Updated June 15, 2020| 0
Doctors usually rely on observation and ruling out other factors to diagnose Alzheimer’s.
En español | The terms dementia and Alzheimers have been around for more than a century, which means people have likely been mixing them up for that long, too. But knowing the difference is important. In the simplest terms, one is broader than the other. If the two were nesting dolls, Alzheimers would fit inside dementia, but not the other way around. While Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia , there are several other types. The second most common form, vascular dementia, has a very different cause namely, high blood pressure. Other types of dementia include alcohol-related dementia, Parkinsons dementia and frontotemporal dementia each has different causes as well. In addition, certain medical conditions can cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia.
A correct diagnosis means the right medicines, remedies and support. For example, knowing that you have Alzheimers instead of another type of dementia might lead to a prescription for a cognition-enhancing drug instead of an antidepressant. Finally, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial for Alzheimers if youve been specifically diagnosed with the disease.
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How Can Purple Tea Help With Vascular Dementia
Several studies today show that drinking tea every day could actually help because it lowers the risk of cognitive impairment. Green and black teas are very helpful in improving brain capacity and help in preventing brain cell deterioration.
Purple tea is known for its antioxidant properties. This property, together with its anti-inflammatory components, protect the brain from damage. Drinking three to four cups a day will help strengthen cognitive performance and prevent neurodegeneration. If the brain is capacitated and strengthened, it may decrease the progress of dementia significantly. It will also help with the overall wellness of the body.
To know more about vascular dementia, watch this video from Peter M. Lawrence:
Vascular dementia is a growing problem. It has sped up to being the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimers disease. Understanding vascular dementia will help us protect ourselves and our loved ones from developing the symptoms that may lead to it. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help prevent this condition. And, if you know a person suffering from vascular dementia, a better understanding of the condition will help you empathize and care for them.
Do you have vascular dementia stories of your own? Share with us in the comments section below!
At What Point Do Dementia Patients Need 24 Hour Care
When living at home is no longer an option There may come a time when the person living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia will need more care than can be provided at home. During the middle stages of Alzheimer’s, it becomes necessary to provide 24-hour supervision to keep the person with dementia safe.
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Signs Of Vascular Dementia
If you or the people around you notice any of the signs below, you should visit your GP:
- Not being able to understand or respond to things very quickly.
- Not being able to remember things.
- Finding it difficult to concentrate.
- Not being able to find the right word when youre speaking.
- Struggling to plan ahead for everyday tasks.
- Difficulty in learning new tasks
- Seeming down or depressed.
At a later stage, signs may include:
- Becoming confused.
- Behaving differently, especially if youre being aggressive or behaving inappropriately.
- Lacking motivation.
- Not being able to control your emotions.
- Finding it difficult to walk and keep your balance.
- Having problems controlling your bladder.
Reasoning For Differentiation Between Ad And Vd
The scientific reasoning for the distinction between AD and VD was based on evidence collected during the 1970s and 1980s, leading investigators to conclude that a vascular pathology was not the main underlying pathology for most demented individuals. First, many demented individuals had diffuse amyloid deposits or plaques and neurofibrillary tangles as the predominant postmortem pathology, with no or minimal vascular pathology or infarcts. Second, in some of these demented individuals with predominantly plaques and tangles, the counts of the cholinergic cells in the nucleus basalis of Meynert were diminished, as was the activity of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the cortex.-
The pragmatic reasoning for the distinction between AD and VD was the assumption in the late 1970s and early 1980s that specific treatments for AD exist, This assumption was based on the apparent finding that increasing cholinergic activity by pharmacological manipulations could improve symptoms in demented individuals.- In order to increase the likelihood of demonstrating an effect for drugs enhancing cholinergic activities, it was believed to be essential to identify patients affected by a cholinergic deficit, ic, AD patients, and distinguish them from VD patients, who were not expected to benefit from cholinergic enhancement.
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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.
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.
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