Friday, December 2, 2022
HomeMust ReadWhy Do Older People Get Dementia

Why Do Older People Get Dementia

Compensating For Memory Loss

Caregiver Training: Refusal to Bathe | UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care

The same practices that contribute to healthy aging and physical vitality also contribute to a healthy memory. So, by taking steps early to prevent cognitive decline, youll also be improving all other aspects of your life as well.

Stay social. People who arent socially engaged with family and friends are at higher risk for memory problems than people who have strong social ties. Quality face-to-face social interaction can greatly reduce stress and is powerful medicine for the brain, so schedule time with friends, join a book club, or visit the local senior center. And be sure to put your phone away and focus fully on the people youre with if you want the full brain benefit.

Stop smoking. Smoking heightens the risk of vascular disorders that can cause stroke and constrict arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain. When you quit smoking, the brain quickly benefits from improved circulation.

Manage stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, damages the brain over time and can lead to memory problems. But even before that happens, stress or anxiety can cause memory difficulties in the moment. When youre stressed out or anxious, youre more likely to suffer memory lapses and have trouble learning or concentrating. But simple stress management techniques can minimize these harmful effects.

Walking: An easy way to fight memory loss

Causes Of New Or Increasing Negativity In Older Adults

Conversely, a negative mindset or more frequent complaining is a new occurrence for some seniors. If your mother was always sweet and timid, but now shes implacable, or your husband was jolly and supportive throughout your marriage, but hes become controlling and angry, it is a serious red flag. Fortunately, new personality changes are often easier to address, and many can be remedied.

What Are The Types Of Dementia

Dementias are often broken down into two main categories — Alzheimer type or non-Alzheimer type. Dementias of the Alzheimers disease type are defined by the symptoms of memory loss plus impairment in other brain functions, such as language function inability to move the muscles associated with speech or perception, visual or other inabilities to recognize speech or name objects .

Non-Alzheimer dementias include the frontotemporal lobar degenerations, which are further broken down into two main types. One type primarily affects speech. An example is primary progressive aphasia syndromes. The other type is defined by changes in behavior, including lack of feeling, emotion, interest or concern loss of a social filter personality change and loss of executive functions . In both of these frontotemporal lobe dementias, memory loss is relatively mild until later in the course of the disease.

Other non-Alzheimers disease dementias include vascular disorders , dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s dementia, and normal pressure hydrocephalus.

Recommended Reading: Diet Coke And Dementia

How Is Dementia Different From Normal Ageing

Dementia is a group of symptoms. Its caused by different diseases that damage the brain.

The symptoms of dementia get worse over time and include:

  • memory loss
  • confusion and needing help with daily tasks
  • problems with language and understanding
  • changes in behaviour.

When a person has dementia, this worsening in mental abilities is much more serious than the normal changes that people experience as they get older.

The changes may be small to start with, but become more noticeable. For a health professional to diagnose dementia, a person’s symptoms must be significantly affecting their daily life. This means having difficulties with completing daily tasks about the house, in the community or at work.

Causes Of Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Why Do People Get Dementia? Heres What We Know

Lewy bodies are tiny clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein that can develop inside brain cells.

These clumps damage the way the cells work and communicate with each other, and the brain cells eventually die.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is closely related to Parkinson’s disease and often has some of the same symptoms, including difficulty with movement and a higher risk of falls.

Read more about dementia with Lewy bodies.

Also Check: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s

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.

What Else Should You Know About Paranoia And Dementia

Dementia-related paranoia can trigger agitation, which can be stressful to try to abate. However, there are some techniques that you can use. Some of these include:

  • Limiting the amount of sugar, caffeine, and junk food that the person with dementia consumes
  • Reducing the amount of clutter in a room
  • Maintaining a daily routine
  • Avoid rearranging furniture try to keep things in the same places to instill familiarity
  • Maintain a soft, calming tone to your voice
  • Play soothing music or do other calming things with the person, such as reading aloud or going on strolls
  • Keep any unsafe objects out of reach
  • Encourage the person with dementia to be as independent as possible, without pushing them too far
  • Distract the agitated person with a fun activity or a favorite snack

You can also work on building trust with the person who is suffering from paranoia. If you find that they are suspicious of you, here are some strategies that you can implement:

  • Avoid arguing with them
  • If they are receptive to it, try a gentle hug
  • Help them look for something they think you stole, before distracting them with another activity
  • Let them keep money in a handbag. If they think you stole money from them, you can help them find it in the bag.

Don’t Miss: What Color Represents Alzheimer’s

Signs Of Death In Elderly With Dementia: End Stage

Dementia is a term used to describe the persistent or chronic decline in ones mental processes and this include personality changes, impaired reasoning, and memory loss. The most common form is Alzheimers disease and it accounts for over 70 percent of all the dementia cases.

It is one of the greatest causes of death in the United States with over five million people living with the disease in the country alone. One of the age groups affected by dementia is the seniors. If you are a caregiver, it is important to know the signs of death in elderly with dementia.

Most progressive dementias and Alzheimers disease do not have any cure. The diseases get worse with the passage of time, but the timeline can be very different from one person to the next.

Caring for persons with the diseases can be stressful and very challenging, especially when their personality begins to change and their cognitive function starts to decline. It is possible that the individual will not even recognize the people who are closest and dearest to them.

As the disease progresses, the person needs more and more support from the caregiver and the family. If the person is elderly, the caregiver needs to know about all the signs that the patient may be dying.

You may need to put the patient on hospice so as that he or she can get the appropriate care during such moments. This offers the family and the patient spiritual, physical, and emotional care.

Content:

Treating Language Problems In Ftd

Living with dementia

Treatment of PPA has two goals maintaining language skills and using new tools and other ways to communicate. Treatment tailored to a persons specific language problem and stage of PPA generally works best. Since language ability declines over time, different strategies may be needed as the illness progresses. The following strategies may help:

  • Use a communication notebook , gestures, and drawings to communicate without talking.
  • Store lists of words or phrases in a computer or phone to point to.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, use simple sentences, wait for responses, and ask for clarification if needed.
  • Work with a speech-language pathologist familiar with PPA to determine the best tools and strategies to use. Note that many speech-language pathologists are trained to treat aphasia caused by stroke, which requires different strategies from those used with PPA.

Don’t Miss: Alzheimer’s Neurotransmitters

What Causes Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is caused by different conditions that interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen supply to the brain and damage blood vessels in the brain.

People with vascular dementia almost always have abnormalities in the brain that can be seen on MRI scans. These abnormalities can include evidence of prior strokes, which are often small and sometimes without noticeable symptoms. Major strokes can also increase the risk for dementia, but not everyone who has had a stroke will develop dementia.

Other abnormalities commonly found in the brains of people with vascular dementia are diseased small blood vessels and changes in “white matter” the connecting “wires” of the brain that are critical for relaying messages between brain regions.

What Is Mixed Dementia

It is common for people with dementia to have more than one form of dementia. For example, many people with dementia have both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Researchers who have conducted autopsy studies have looked at the brains of people who had dementia, and have suggested that most people age 80 and older probably have mixed dementia caused by a combination of brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease,vascular disease-related processes, or another condition that involves the loss of nerve cell function or structure and nerve cell death .

Scientists are investigating how the underlying disease processes in mixed dementia start and influence each other. Further knowledge gains in this area will help researchers better understand these conditions and develop more personalized prevention and treatment strategies.

Other conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms can be halted or even reversed with treatment. For example, normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, often resolves with treatment.

In addition, medical conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, and delirium can cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia, as can side effects of certain medicines.

Researchers have also identified many other conditions that can cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms. These conditions include:

Recommended Reading: Alzheimer’s Lack Of Neurotransmitter

The Future Of Ftd Treatment

Researchers are continuing to explore the biological changes in the body, including genetic mutations and proteins, that lead to FTD and identify and test possible new drugs and other treatments. They are also developing better ways to track disease progression, so that treatments, when they become available, can be directed to the right people. Clinical trials and studies are underway to advance these efforts. People with FTD and healthy people may be able to participate. To find out more, talk to your health care provider or visit the Alzheimers.gov Clinical Trials Finder.

Reversible Causes Of Memory Loss

Why do people with dementia get pneumonia?

Its important to remember that memory loss doesnt automatically mean that you have dementia. There are many other reasons why you may be experiencing cognitive problems, including stress, depression, and even vitamin deficiencies. Thats why its so important to go to a doctor to get an official diagnosis if youre experiencing problems.

Sometimes, even what looks like significant memory loss can be caused by treatable conditions and reversible external factors, such as:

Depression. Depression can mimic the signs of memory loss, making it hard for you to concentrate, stay organized, remember things, and get stuff done. Depression is a common problem in older adultsespecially if youre less social and active than you used to be or youve recently experienced a number of important losses or major life changes .

Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 protects neurons and is vital to healthy brain functioning. In fact, a lack of B12 can cause permanent damage to the brain. Older people have a slower nutritional absorption rate, which can make it difficult for you to get the B12 your mind and body need. If you smoke or drink, you may be at particular risk. If you address a vitamin B12 deficiency early, you can reverse the associated memory problems. Treatment is available in the form of a monthly injection.

Are you taking three or more drugs?

Recommended Reading: Neurotransmitter Involved In Alzheimer’s

Toilet Problems Continence And Dementia

Read our guide to toilet problems and incontinence, including causes, solutions and how this might affect a person with dementia.

  • You are here: Toilet problems, continence and dementia
  • Continence and using the toilet

    Its common for people to have more difficulties using the toilet as they get older, particularly if they have dementia.

    Accidents and incontinence can cause problems, especially as a persons condition progresses. This can be upsetting for the person with dementia and difficult when youre supporting them.

    Many people find it difficult to talk about these issues. However, support is available. With the right help and advice, incontinence and toilet problems can be managed or sometimes prevented.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Vascular Dementia

    People with vascular dementia may experience:

    • Difficulty performing tasks that used to be easy, such as paying bills
    • Trouble following instructions or learning new information and routines
    • Forgetting current or past events
    • Misplacing items
    • Loss of interest in things or people
    • Changes in personality, behavior, and mood, such as depression, agitation, and anger
    • Hallucinations or delusions
    • Poor judgment and loss of ability to perceive danger

    You May Like: Bob Knight Alzheimer’s

    The Thoughtful Pause Between Stimulus And Response May Deteriorate In Dementia

    In the last post, we discussed how and why frustration, depression, anxiety, and not participating in activities are common in dementia. In this article well tackle the thorny issues of apathy, irritability, agitation, aggression, combativeness, inappropriate behavior, willfulness, and sundowning.

    Apathy is common in dementia. When dementia damages the front of the brain or some of its connections, apathy can result. The normal drive to plan for the future is lost. Sometimes this loss can manifest by letting house repairs go, neglecting to pay bills, or not going to the grocery store until every scrap of food in the house is gone. When more severe, the desire to do anything at all may be gone, and the individual with dementia can sit passively for hours staring at a blank wall or a television that is not turned on.

    Disinhibited behavior can lead to safety issues. When your loved one has behavior problems it can be distressing, physically exhausting, and heart-breaking. Behavior problems can also lead to safety issues. Dementia may lead individuals to act precipitously without thinking of the consequences. If they are feeling angry, they could strike out with their fists or any available item, including knives, guns, and baseball bats. If they feel like getting out of the car they may do sodespite the fact that the car is moving! In later posts, well discuss ways of managing these safety issues.

    Key Questions

    More About Dementia And Being Mean

    Why do people with dementia fall?

    Understanding how dementia changes our thinking skills is the beginning of understanding why someone experiencing dementia might be mean, and how to avoid getting aggressive and combative dementia behaviors.

    But this is not a simple problem, so theres more to think about. In my next article, Dementia Anger Stage, Ill explain how wethe companions of people experiencing dementiaare actually in control of their moods rather than them. This is one of the key reasons for why relationships that include dementia are different from anything weve ever experienced before.

    Also Check: What Color Is The Alzheimer’s Ribbon

    What Are The Different Types Of Dementia

    Various disorders and factors contribute to the development of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Currently, there are no cures for these diseases.

    The five most common forms of dementia are:

    • Alzheimers disease, the most common dementia diagnosis among older adults. It is caused by changes in the brain, including abnormal buildups of proteins, known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
    • Frontotemporal dementia, a rare form of dementia that tends to occur in people younger than 60. It is associated with abnormal amounts or forms of the proteins tau and TDP-43.
    • Lewy body dementia, a form of dementia caused by abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein, called Lewy bodies.
    • Vascular dementia, a form of dementia caused by conditions that damage blood vessels in the brain or interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
    • Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia.

    Difficulty Finding The Right Words

    Another early symptom of dementia is struggling to communicate thoughts. A person with dementia may have difficulty explaining something or finding the right words to express themselves. Having a conversation with a person who has dementia can be difficult, and it may take longer than usual to conclude.

    Read Also: What Color Ribbon For Dementia

    Why Do Dementia Patients Stop Talking

    There are many signs that can tell you death is near for a dementia payment. Even though you may be prepared for the end, it is never easy. The ten signs that death is near include:

  • Sleeping. The patient may stop responding or may be more sleepy than usual
  • Loss of interest in fluids and food
  • Coolness: the patients legs, feet, arms, hands, ears, and nose may feel cool to touch because of the decrease in circulation
  • Change in the color of the skin because of the low circulation of blood usually called mottling
  • Rattling sounds within the throat and lungs
  • Bowel and bladder changes
  • Changing vital signs
  • RELATED ARTICLES

    Most Popular