It is so important to bring awareness to dementia related diseases because there is not yet a cure, but early diagnosis can help improve the life of people with dementia and their families. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, being the 6th leading cause of death in United States. Although it is true that memory loss can happen more frequently as we age, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, those with dementia can show significant impairment of two of the below items.
- Communication and language
- Ability to focus and pay attention
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception
- Decreased socialization
- Increased falls
Dementia related diseases like Alzheimer’s alter the communication between brain cells causing mental, emotional, physical and behavioral changes. This is much more than just forgetting things as we age. It is important to monitor aging loved ones for changes in their behavior and bring them to see a doctor early on, since most cases of dementia start slowly and progress. It is also important to assess for any type of pseudo-dementias/reversible conditions.
- D-Drug Interactions
- E-Emotional Disorders
- M-Metabolic or Endocrine Disorders-(Thyroid)
- E-Eyes and Ears (Sensory loss can cause confusion)
- N- Nutritional deficits
- T-Tumors (especially brain)
- I-Infection (UTI, URI and pneumonia)
- A-Arteriosclerosis (other cardiac conditions/ or stroke)Knowledge is bridging the gap for those facing the reality of aging, especially with dementia related diseases. Knowing what to ask and where to go- allows you to find resources, support and develop that plan specific for your older adult loved one.
Terri is available to speak on many topics related to dementia; to help guide family members as they navigate through this disease process.