Dementia is the general decline in mental health that eventually leads to a degraded standard of living – to the point where one will need assisted care. Alhzeimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, but there is also Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, and frontotemporal disorder. Dementia is NOT a part of the aging process, but is a common disorder that afflicts the elderly.
Dementia progress can be slowed down, so it is important that one is aware of the signs that indicate the onset of the disease. Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty communicating, or not being able to find the words to convey the message the person wants to. A related symptom is not being able to follow a conversation.
- Loss of memory, specially short-term memory. Things like forgetting to turn off the lights. Or repeating a task (such as calling someone) that was done just a short while ago. While memory lapses happen even to middle-aged people, a progressive loss of memory, specially in an older person, is a sign of mental degradation.
- Mood swings are another sign of mental decline. You may notice some personality changes, or even signs of depression. When you notice this, have the person undergo some medical tests. Even if it isn’t dementia, it may be an indicator of another condition.
- Forgetting the sequence or operation of everyday tasks, such as operating the microwave. Or using shaving cream on your hair instead of shampoo. You may laugh, but this is a sign that something is wrong.
- Getting lost or becoming disoriented in public places. It’s not unusual to become disoriented in an unfamiliar place, but if your loved one becomes lost or disoriented in a park or mall they have been going to for 20 years, then that is a definite sign of cognitive decline.
Apart from a decline in mental function, dementia can also manifest itself physiologically. If you notice depression, irritability, anxiety, agitation, or other forms of unusual behavior, then take it as a sign that it may be a sign of dementia.
Although there is currently no cure for dementia, early detection and treatment can slow the progression significantly, so that a person afflicted with dementia can continue to live with the condition for a decade or more. If you need a dementia care home in Victoria BC, learn more about Craigdarroch Care Home.