As we age, our minds and bodies undergo dozens of changes—sometimes they’re subtle, while other times, they’re drastic. On some occasions, we might experience a cognitive decline, which may be related to symptoms of dementia.
Though memory loss can often be passed on as forgetfulness, there are times it can indicate something far more serious, which is why it’s important for you and your family members to be aware of telltale signs. Nowadays, one in every ten people over the age of 65 will be diagnosed with dementia. If you think you or your loved one may be demonstrating symptoms, it’s important to contact a memory care consultant in Houston. Otherwise, here are a few obvious signs that you or a family member may have dementia.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is the “significant loss of intellectual abilities” that can cause memory to deteriorate and can often be severe enough to negatively impact one’s social and occupational functioning. Contrary to popular belief, dementia isn’t caused by depression or schizophrenia. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is typically characterized by memory loss and recurring forgetfulness. Though Alzheimer’s disease can be mild, it can also drastically impair language and motor skills.
How to Identify Dementia Symptoms
Symptoms of dementia can become present in various ways. Sometimes they develop slowly, while they can develop rapidly for others. Consider some of these early warning signs.
- Short-term memory loss or difficulty stringing together uncomplicated sentences.
- Changes in mood or attitude such as sudden and violent outbursts of anger or aggression. These changes can be a response to the initial forgetfulness that a dementia sufferer will experience.
- Obsessive-compulsive or repetitive behaviors such as hoarding or rearranging items. These might indicate a need for security or control.
- Difficulty in receiving or understanding directions or losing oneself in a normally familiar setting such as a nearby grocery store or mall.
- Difficulty in adjusting to even minimal changes in regular patterns and routines. This can lead to fear, stress, or anxiety.
- Demonstrating a heightened sense of confusion, generalized anxiety, and restlessness.
More advanced signs of dementia might include the following.
- Extreme changes in personality such as frequent episodes of anxiety, inappropriate behavior, severe paranoia, or agitation.
- Wandering unnaturally outside of the home or returning to an old job or store that is no longer in business.
- Frequent hallucinations.
What Causes Dementia?
Most of the time, dementia is biological. However, it can be the result of other factors such as:
- Race and ethnicity: dementia is more commonly occurring in those of Hispanic or African American descent.
- Age: sometimes, old age can cause dementia even in those whose family history does not indicate the disease.
How to Support a Family Member With Dementia
Dementia care homes in Houston aren’t the only solution to the disease, nor should they be your first option. What dementia sufferers need can vary from person to person, but the number one factor is comfort and support.
You might hire an in-home caregiver or turn to a professional for other resources that can help seniors maintain their sense of independence, dignity, and purpose. You and your loved one can participate in memory care programs to ensure that symptoms don’t progress further or at the very least, slow down.
Adjust your routine to include repetitive activities that can help emotionally stimulate your family member. Ensure that they are always physically out of harm’s way and refrain from comforting them physically when they’re experiencing an outburst.
Limit their intake of sugar and caffeine and stick to a sleep schedule to allow your family member to maintain their health.
Dealing with dementia can be frustrating, whether you’re caring for someone suffering from it or experiencing it yourself. At Complete Dementia Solutions, we provide memory care facilities in Houston that can make dealing with dementia easier and far more rewarding.