Dementia affects the way people think and behave. They may attempt to hide their symptoms. You may notice that a person you know has bruises from a fall or a glass of water they’d been drinking yesterday is broken. Language skills may also suffer. It could mean that they struggle to follow conversations or write messages. They may have difficulty understanding stories and may even have difficulty spelling words. Here are the things you should look for to determine if a loved one has dementia:
Early Warning Signs
One of the first signs of dementia is a person’s confusion about where they are or what time it is. The symptoms of dementia vary greatly, but these are classic early warning signs. If you suspect your loved one is showing any of these signs, it is important to see a qualified healthcare provider determine whether dementia is the cause. On so many different levels, providing dementia care properly is crucial. When someone is treated with dignity and respect, as Villas at San Bernardino does, they can retain as much of their original identity as possible, reducing anxiety for both the patient and their family.
Your loved one may not engage in regular activities, such as conversations with family members. They may also become isolated or withdraw from situations where they need active communication. Their personalities may also change, causing them to act oddly or easily upset. You may also notice that your loved one no longer enjoys the same hobbies or pastimes they used to.
Some other early warning signs of dementia include irritability, depression, and sudden changes in behavior. Some individuals with dementia become more anxious, frightened, and even sad. They may start to withdraw, sulk, lose interest in hobbies, or become extremely aloof.
A healthcare provider can make an official diagnosis of dementia by taking a medical history and evaluating the patient’s mental abilities. However, a doctor may need additional tests to evaluate a patient fully. They may also refer the patient to a dementia specialist or a memory clinic. This diagnosis can be difficult and can take a long time.
The first step to a proper diagnosis is to rule out other conditions. While most people with dementia experience symptoms of cognitive decline, they often suffer from depression. It is essential to rule out depression as it is often a common cause of cognitive impairment in older adults. Additionally, it is important to distinguish dementia from mild cognitive decline associated with advanced age.
The doctor will take a complete medical history and family history and ask about changes in the patient’s memory or thinking processes. They may also ask about the patient’s medication use and alcohol consumption. This information will help the doctor determine if the disease is progressive. Sometimes, medical tests will be performed, such as a blood test.
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The first step in treating dementia is a thorough assessment. It will help determine if the condition is reversible and refer the person to a specialist. These specialists include geriatricians, neurologists, and psychiatrists. The evaluation should also include mental status testing, which uses various tests to determine brain dysfunction. Psychological testing, such as neuropsychological testing, may also be performed to determine the severity of the person’s mental problems and help with treatment planning.
Medication is often prescribed to help manage dementia symptoms. However, it is usually prescribed at the lowest effective dose and requires supervision. While medications do not cure dementia, they can make the condition easier to manage and prevent further decline. Other treatments include therapy and occupational therapy. These can help reduce the risk of accidents and improve the function of the brain.
Depending on the type of dementia, treatment is different for each one. The most common type is frontotemporal dementia, which results in personality changes and language problems. Patients with this type of dementia may act inappropriately, make offensive comments, or neglect daily responsibilities at home.
The first step to prevent dementia is to reduce the risk of developing the disease. Several interventions effectively reduce the risk of developing dementia, including improving overall health, cardiovascular health, and cognitive function. These interventions may also delay the onset of dementia symptoms. Studies have shown that an active lifestyle and diet high in antioxidants reduce the risk of dementia. Increasing social activity and engaging in activities like reading, cooking, and social interaction may also help. While these methods may be effective individually, they are more effective when combined. Changing your lifestyle can significantly reduce your risk of dementia. Another way to reduce the risk of developing dementia is to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Many interventions for diabetes and cardiovascular disease can lower the risk of dementia. In addition, lifestyle interventions have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia in people with a wide range of risk factors.