Reports show that as many as 7% of adults above the age of 60 suffer from dementia. But what exactly is dementia?
Dementia is defined as the decline in memory as well as other mental problems. Alternatively, dementia can be described as a group of symptoms that affects thinking, memory as well as social abilities which in turn impacts your daily life. There are numerous causes of dementia, but the most common cause of progressive dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. If you have dementia, you may experience impairment in communication, thought, and memory. However, not all memory problems are a symptom of dementia. In addition to memory problems, dementia may also affect your communication, focus, reasoning as well as language. In this article, we are going to look at how to spot and recognize the signs of dementia in seniors.
● Memory loss
According to Jane Byrne, Project Coordinator at FirstCare nursing home Kildare. “While broadly speaking dementia patients may present similarly, all dementia patients will have varying symptoms because the affected parts of the brain vary from one person to another.”
Memory loss is a common sign of dementia. It is common for people to forget things as you age. If you are suffering from this symptom, then it means you have difficulty recalling new information you have learned. In this case, seniors will rely on family and friends to keep track of things.
● Difficulty speaking or writing
A senior suffering from dementia may find it difficult to engage in conversations. You can spot this sign in case you see them forgetting what they are saying or what another person has said. Also, people with dementia will find their punctuation, grammar, and spelling is getting worse.
● Mood changes
Another way you can spot if seniors have dementia is by confirming if there is a mood change. For example, if a senior is diagnosed with depression it could be an early sign of dementia. In addition to mood changes, you may also notice a change in personality.
If you are in the early stages of dementia, you may become confused. When you experience memory lapses or judgment lapses, confusion will likely arise. You can spot if someone is confused if they lack the right words to express themselves or cannot remember faces. Also, if a senior is confused, they are likely to forget where they placed their keys. For this reason, a medical alert system is not always right for someone suffering from dementia
Apathy may occur in people who are suffering from an early stage of dementia. You can notice this sign of dementia in seniors in case you notice they have lost interest in activities or hobbies you used to enjoy. Also, if you have apathy it means you do not want to spend time with family and friends.
Dementia usually affects seniors above the age of 65 but can also affect young people. If you are in your 30s, 40s or 50s, you may experience early onset of dementia. The most common cause of dementia includes Huntington’s disease, Lewy body dementia, Brain damage, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. For you to successfully diagnose and treat this condition, you should know how to spot and recognize the signs of dementia in seniors. If you experience the above signs of dementia, you need to visit a doctor who will perform different tests like blood tests, brain imaging tests, a neurological exam, or a complete mental and memory tests. However, you can prevent dementia by reading, getting physically active, playing memory games and making other lifestyle changes such as eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains as well as omega 3 fatty acids. Try some of these activities for dementia patients with your loved one.
About The Author:
Holly Clark has been working in the care industry for 5+ years as a project coordinator. She regularly blogs about both the personal and practical challenges of caring and is always actively working on producing informative content. Holly is currently writing for Firstcare.