Dementia is a syndrome involving impairment of memory, intellect, and the ability to perform activities of daily living. This is often accompanied, and sometimes preceded, by impairment in emotional control, social behavior, or motivation. This disease affects each person differently, depending on the impact of the disease and the personality of the individual before its onset. Identifying the symptoms of dementia in your loved ones can be complicated if you do not know the causes of this progressive cognitive degenerative disease in older people.
How is dementia classified?
Dementia can be classified in two different ways: primary and secondary dementia.
Primary dementia: Primary dementia is the most commonly diagnosed type of dementia and is often caused by degenerative diseases that affect the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body disease, frontotemporal dementia, and dementia associated with Parkinson’s.
Secondary dementia: Secondary dementia is often caused by a primary disease that affects the body. Diseases like vascular, inflammatory (multiple sclerosis), infectious, hydrocephalus, tumor, traumatic, or endocrine-metabolic type (hypothyroidism, vitamin B12 deficiency…).
The most common type of secondary dementia is cerebrovascular disease. It is the most common cause of dementia, the second after Alzheimer’s disease.
Why is it important to recognize dementia symptoms on time?
While dementia is a disease that is often diagnosed in older people, symptoms can also begin to appear in adulthood or at a younger age. That is why it is important to detect it on time.
Recognizing symptoms early on, especially if they are in a younger family member, allows an individual time to get help and obtain the lifestyle changes that they may need for the rest of their lives.
Here are six tips that will help you identify the symptoms of dementia in time to be treated correctly.
6 Symptoms Of Dementia To Be Aware Of
- Memory Loss
Memory loss, both short-term and long-term, is one of the most common symptoms in people diagnosed with dementia. This is often noticed by a family member; you will notice if your loved one forgets simple things more easily, for example, names of close relatives or friends, frequent addresses, where things are around the house, etc.
- Difficulties while communicating
This is most often noticed when a person starts to have trouble communicating and finding the words they need to express themselves. This will also produce stress in the individual, so be patient and understanding while listening to them.
- Difficulty in reasoning
Your loved one may begin to take more time trying to solve complex problems or may have trouble reasoning or performing daily tasks. During this time, helping them may ease their stress, and being patient is the best thing you can do for them.
- Complications when planning and organizing
This is normally identified when the person does not organize their day or tasks in the same way as they did before. It’s difficult for them to perform their daily tasks from memory.
- Complications with coordination and motor functions
If you see that your loved one cannot coordinate motor activities as before, despite previously learned executions, it may be a symptom of dementia known as apraxia.
In it, the brain has suffered an injury such as a tumor, trauma, or simply a degradation developing in the parietal lobes that act on movement in the body.
- Personality changes
If you notice that the person has had sudden personality changes, this could mean dementia. The changes can be an increase in aggressiveness, or they can start having inappropriate behaviors the individual has never shown before.
What can you do to help a family member with dementia?
In-home care referrals for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia are often the best choice for families who want to keep their loved ones close. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, seniors who live at home enjoy a higher quality of life. This devastating disease can be difficult for the entire family. The first step is to understand the type of dementia that your loved one has. This will help your family determine the best level of care for them.
In-home services often help boost the overall well-being of the individual. While dementia is a disease that inevitably progresses, studies have shown that being in the home environment is an advantage in helping the individual be more comfortable in familiar surroundings with their loved ones by their side.
There are a variety of options available for an in-home care referral for dementia patients. Contact us for a free in-home consultation to learn more about the options for your unique needs at (786) 518-3622 in Miami-Dade or (954) 949-1332 in Broward.
- (NHS) Symptoms of dementia https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/symptoms/
- (Ohio State University) Types of dementia Types of dementia | Ohio State Medical Center
- (Alzheimer’s Association) A guide to quality care from the perspectives of people with dementia A Guide to Quality Care from the Perspectives of People Living with Dementia