Dementia is something that affects many individuals, as well as their families — but how well do you really understand dementia?
For starters, it is important to clarify that dementia is not actually a particular disease. Rather, in a more general sense, it is a category of disease into which various specific diseases fall. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, but it is hardly the only one.
Broadly speaking, dementia refers to any condition that leads to progressive cognitive impairment, severe enough that it impedes everyday life. As for the cause of dementia, it can vary. The true cause of Alzheimer’s is not known, though there seems to be a strong genetic component. The second most common form of dementia is vascular dementia, which occurs as the result of a stroke. Other forms of dementia can be triggered by thyroid problems or even by vitamin deficiencies.
Regardless of the specific cause, it is imperative to make clear that dementia is not a normal part of aging. Not everyone experiences dementia, and among those who do, it is important to isolate the specific cause so that other underlying issues might also be addressed and treated.
Specific symptoms of dementia can vary, but at least two of these core symptoms must be present in order for the dementia diagnosis to be given:
- Memory impairment
- Trouble with communication/language
- Diminished ability to focus/pay attention
- Impaired reasoning/judgment
- Problems with visual perception
Typically speaking, dementia symptoms are progressive — meaning they can seem minor at first but are likely to worsen over time. Early intervention can help slow this decline and mitigate the symptoms, which is why those who are concerned about a loved one are encouraged to seek medical help sooner rather than later. Be on the alert for potential signs of dementia.
At CountryHouse, we provide safe, happy accommodations for those struggling with dementia. Learn more about how we can take care of your aging family members by contacting us today.
Contact us today to learn about the ways in which we can help care for a loved one with dementia.