According to the World Health Organization, in 2017, there were around 50 million people living with dementia worldwide, 5.7% of whom are living in the United States. This medical illness, which causes abnormal brain changes, triggers a decline in cognitive abilities.
Some cases of dementia are so severe that they impact the patient’s daily life and prevent them from living independently. There can also be a change in the behavior of a dementia patient, which may result in strained relationships with their loved ones.
If you are looking for more information on this condition, read through four FAQs on dementia that other people have asked before:
1. “What are the signs that someone has dementia?”
Dementia manifests differently across individuals, and the impact varies depending on the person’s personality and lifestyle before falling ill. There are generally three stages of dementia, and symptoms progress depending on how far along the condition has progressed.
Early stages of dementia can merely manifest as everyday forgetfulness, the kind that most people may experience. Losing track of the time, or not knowing how to navigate familiar places, are early symptoms as well. Middle-stage dementia is characterized by increased difficulty with communication or forgetting how to practice personal hygiene. Late-stage dementia is characterized by serious memory disturbances, such as failing to recognize family members, drastic behavioral and personality changes, and even difficulty in walking.
2. “What causes dementia?”
Dementia happens due to brain cell damage. When brain cells cannot communicate normally, they impede everyday bodily functions and memory retrieval. Depression, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, and excessive alcohol use also cause brain cell damage, which leads to dementia.
Other factors that contribute include high blood pressure, stress, and emotional isolation. This may come as a surprise, but research actually has shown that people who have a support system and a network of friends, coupled with other healthy habits, have lower chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
3. “Is there a cure for dementia?”
As of now, there are no definitive treatments for dementia, as it is not a disease strictly speaking, but a collection of diseases. Research is being done, however, on curing Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Stem cell research, immunotherapy, and repurposing medication for other diseases, such as high blood pressure, have all shown promise in this area.
4. “How to prevent dementia?”
Early diagnosis and symptom management are the best ways to prevent the onset of dementia. Quitting smoking, staying at a healthy weight, and becoming mentally alert are the biggest contributors to brain health. Regular exercise, a change in diet, and social and mental activities will also encourage healthy activity in brain cells.
Exercise alone cuts a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s in half. In addition, sleep and stress management are also contributors to keeping symptoms at bay. Getting the recommended amount of sleep flushes toxins out of the brain, and reduces anxiety and stress. Providing emotional and medical support to people who are at risk for dementia is also essential for their well-being.
If you know that your loved one needs a memory care facility, looking for a dementia practitioner near you is the best way to plan for long-term care for them.
Caring for someone who has dementia can be taxing. A person who suffers from it experiences a drastic change in their lifestyle, which may cause them emotional and mental distress. Seeking the services of compassionate, certified practitioners will help ease the load of caring for a loved one experiencing symptoms.
Complete Dementia Solutions provides memory care services within Texas. We are experts in consumer research and can answer any question you have about living with someone with dementia. Contact us today to learn more.