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Let's Talk about Dementia

by Damika B about a month ago in coping
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Can it be cured? let's find out

It is important to know what are the different types of dementia and how it affects the brain and daily functioning of people who are mainly in the senior age group. Memory loss and difficulty concentrating are a couple of signs that show early on dementia. Research shows that this condition can be treated, but can't be cured.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is caused by damage to or loss of nerve cells and their connections in the brain. There are several different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Now most people may say it 'comes with old age' but it is not a normal part of aging. Some people living with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities can change. Once someone gets to the severe stage is when they will have to completely depend on others for basic activities of living.

Studies are showing many ways that this condition can be managed properly with the right help and treatment. Getting the proper diagnosis is key.

Doctors would do an assessment of different test to determine whether the person has underlying, potentially treatable condition that may relate to cognitive difficulties. A physical exam and laboratory blood test would be done. I believe reviewing your family medical history can be an important clue that will determine if you're at risk of developing dementia if their are family members who have this condition.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms are repeating questions, using unusual words to refer to familiar objects, wandering and getting lost, confusion, acting impulsively, poor judgment, difficulty expressing thoughts and reading or writing. If some one you know are showing these symptoms it is important to monitor over time changes that can signal dementia.

About 5%-8% of adults over the age 65 have some form of dementia. This percentage doubles every 5 years after this age and not many realize it until much later. Some common risk factors that can raise your chances of dementia are depression, strokes, heavy alcohol use, infection in the brain, and if it runs in the family.

The brain is the most important organ in our body. It controls our thoughts, emotions, movement, and memory. We need our brain to function to the best of its ability. Did you know our brain only weighs 3 pounds!? It is a highly complex organ made up of many parts and has specific functions.

Caregivers can help family care for someone who has dementia

Caregivers who work and specialize with individuals who have certain conditions such as, Alzheimer's disease and dementia can help family understand better how to deal with behaviors that can be both confusing and upsetting. Doctors can determine that a person has dementia with a high level of certainty. However, it's harder to determine the exact type. Vascular dementia is when the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients. Dementia with lewy bodies is when a person has more emotional and cognitive ups and downs , sleep problems, and more visual hallucinations. I know it can be a uneasy feeling knowing how to properly care for a loved one with such condition over a period of time.

Neurologists which is a doctor who specialize in disorders of the brain and nervous system. Early detection can help manage the condition and planning ahead.

senior discussing dementia diagnosis with doctor

If you are experiencing forgetfulness (“where did I leave my keys?” “what was I going to the kitchen for?”) this is not the same as dementia. To be able to tell the difference, it is helpful to know how doctors screen patients for dementia and how they define the different stages of it. If you think you may have memory problems, the right thing to do is to talk to your doctor; you could even ask for a “memory assessment” or “memory test”. These are very helpful resources when it comes to knowing the difference. The fear of mental disability is greater than the fear of physical disability.

Control your high blood pressure, manage blood sugar, maintain a healthy weight, eat healthy, and exercise in physical activity are just a few factors in leading a healthy lifestyle. Although you might see commercials or online advertisements for products promising to improve brain health and prevent dementia, be cautious about such products. There currently is no product that will effectively prevent or treat Alzheimer’s or related dementias. I believe it is important to check with your doctor before trying any new medication or supplement.

We all know fruits and vegetables help keep us healthy. Research studies are now proven that some may delay the onset of dementia. Now what does that mean? It means that certain fruits and vegetables have certain nutrients in them that are beneficial for our brain health. Oranges and papaya are the main sources of the third ingredient, beta-cryptoxanthin. This ingredient reduced the chance of developing dementia by 14%.

Yes, I know that ingredient can be a bit hard to pronounce.

It is a known fact that people who have a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of dementia, from which tens of millions of people suffer worldwide. People who improve their fitness over time are less likely to develop dementia. Forming social connections can enhance a person’s cognitive reserve. In other words, paying attention to others and interacting with them keeps our brains active and healthy.

Everything said in my story here today about dementia and it's effects are all truth and possibly ways that can help you learn more about how you could help a family member or friend who may be dealing with this condition. All it takes is the proper research and diagnosis to determine dementia and what type. Ultimately, the path to effective new treatments for dementia is through increased research funding and increased participation in clinical studies. I know once my grandmother was showing signs of dementia at the age of 85, it was time to make some changes. She needed to have the right care. As the disease progresses it is more important than ever to have set routines and schedules. This can help to eliminate confusion and frustration for your loved one. Turn to family members and other loved ones when you need them.

If you found this to be helpful in any way then please let me know in the comments. Thank you:)

coping

About the author

Damika B

I'm a wife and Mom

I write what ever comes to my mind and about my reality. I hope you subscribe to read my future stories and join me on my journey. I'm pretty awesome!!!!

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