Dementia depicted in an image

Dementia Defined

As defined by the Alzheimer’s Association, Dementia is “a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life”. Many times, people think of Dementia and Alzheimer’s hand in hand, but in actuality, Dementia is not a specific disease. Rather, it is an overall term for a group of symptoms. The most common type is Alzheimer’s.

Symptoms

There is a large range of symptoms, but in order to fully be defined as Dementia two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired:

  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Communication and Language
  • Memory
  • Reasoning and Judgment
  • Visual Perception

The most common type of problem with this disease is short-term memory. Some examples that can occur are forgetting their wallet, paying bills, or remembering appointments.

Alongside, an important thing to remember is that many Dementias are progressive. That means symptoms slowly occur and gradually get worse. It is important to take note of any symptoms that you see and contact a doctor immediately. It is better to have an early diagnosis in order to treat it immediately.

Causes

The main causes are from damaged brain cells. The damages that occur interfere with the communication between the brain cells. Once they no longer can communicate, then thinking, behavior, and feelings become affected. The brain is complex and when certain types of brain cells in particular regions of the brain are damaged, then different outcomes occur. For example, the hippocampus is the center of learning and memory within the brain. The brain cells in this region tend to be damaged first when there are signs of Alzheimer’s and that is why memory loss is one of the earliest symptoms.

Dementia Treatment and Care

There are many different paths of treatment and each path depends on its cause. Currently, the most progressive types of dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease has no cure nor treatment that slows or stops its progressions. Yet, there are drug treatments that assist with temporarily improving symptoms. There is also the option of non-drug therapies.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with a type of dementia and is in need of care, Caring Loving Sharing Caregivers are here to help. We provide in-home care for all types of dementias and will cater to your loved one’s needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your loved one feel like themselves, again.

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