Dementia is not a disease, but the general term for a loss of cognitive functioning, such as memory, problem-solving, and language, to the extent that it becomes a hinderance to daily life. Since dementia is a progressive condition, the severity of its symptoms often start small and increase over time. Everyone will experience different symptoms as a result of dementia, however there are some signs and symptoms that are common. If you recognize any of these symptoms in your aging loved one, it’s important to get them help.
Often, most symptoms are mild in the beginning, and early signs can easily go unrecognized, or just be attributed to aging. About one-third of all adults over 85 will experience some form of dementia, but it is not a normal part of aging. Dementia is the result of damage to brain cells, which interferes with the ability of the cells to communicate with one another.
Symptoms of dementia can vary, but may include:
– Memory loss, or confusion
– Repeating questions, or having difficulty remembering recent conversations
– Trouble communicating or remembering words/names
– Difficulty with coordination or motor functions
– Mood swings or other personality changes
– Struggle with visual or spatial abilities, such as getting lost when going somewhere
– Having trouble following conversations or storylines
– Misperception of time and place
– Paranoia or hallucinations
The most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, Vascular dementia, and Mixed dementia, which is a combination of two or more forms of dementia.
Many disorders and factors can contribute to the development of dementia. It’s important to determine the cause of dementia symptoms, as certain treatable medical conditions can be the cause of dementia symptoms. Common diseases that mimic dementia are thyroid disease, diabetes, alcohol abuse, and cancer, among others. Additionally, depression, nutritional deficiencies, emotional distress, and medication side effects can all produce symptoms that can be easily mistaken as dementia. Even a UTI can manifest similar symptoms.
Dementia is a progressive condition and over time the symptoms will worsen. It’s important to make sure you do not ignore the early signs and symptoms and get ahead of them with the help of a trusted professional.
If you or someone in your family are facing these or other aging challenges, please give us a call at 850-894-6720 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to assist!
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