If a loved one has recently been diagnosed with dementia, you may be wondering what steps to take next. The cognitive decline associated with this condition may have you concerned about how to properly care for your loved one. Here’s some information about dementia and how elderly care services can help.
What You Should Know About Dementia
What is dementia?
Progressive neurological illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and vascular dementia, fall under the dementia umbrella. Alzheimer’s remains the most common type, and along with Lewy body and vascular dementia, causes significant cognitive problems over time, including memory loss. Dementia occurs because of change or damage to the brain that causes its cells to deteriorate.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms vary depending on the type of dementia but often include slowness of thought, problems concentrating, communication difficulties, mobility issues, and personality changes.
Self-care often becomes challenging, especially in the late stages of the disease. Wandering and forgetting to eat and drink can also occur. While it is possible for people with early-stage dementia to take care of themselves, most require elderly care services as the disease progresses.
How do you test for it?
Testing includes mental ability evaluations that determine long- and short-term memory capacities, and the individual’s ability to reason, count, and use language correctly. Neurological tests that check eye movements, balance, and reflexes are often part of examinations. Blood work, brain scans, and psychiatric evaluations may be used as well.
Is it possible to slow the disease’s progression?
While there’s no cure for dementia at this time, it’s possible to slow illness progression, especially if it’s diagnosed early enough. Exercise regimens combined with nutrient-rich, balanced diets contribute to brain health. Art and music therapies have also shown promise in helping dementia patients express themselves and remember feelings or events in their lives.
If an older loved one has dementia and needs help, contact Safe Haven Home Care. This home health care company features a team of registered nurses and other experts providing elderly care services to residents throughout Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, NY. Call (718) 968-6970 today to speak with a compassionate caregiver, or visit their website for more elderly care information.