What is Dementia?
- Dementia is not a specific disease; but a term that describes changes in a person’s ability to think, loss of logical reasoning, inability to remember how to accomplish everyday activities and/or significant changes in mood or behavior.
- Approximately 5-8% of the adults over 65 have some form of “dementia” symptoms that could indicate other health conditions; some of which are reversible and treatable. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia, but it is currently not reversible.
Are you concerned about possible dementia symptoms being exhibited by someone you care about?
Some warning signs to be aware of are:
- Forgetting more often: difficulty recalling recently learned information.
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks: such as dressing, preparing a meal or cleaning.
- Forgetting simple words during a conversation: or substituting inappropriate or unintelligible words into a conversation.
- Getting lost in familiar places: such as at home or getting lost trying to get home.
- Misplacing things: such as the iron in the freezer, cell phone in the refrigerator or any item that has been placed in a very inappropriate location.
- Mood swings: from calmness to tears to anger for no apparent reason
- Changes in personality: exhibiting confusion, suspicion, or becoming withdrawn.
- Problems with numbers and symbols: difficulty calculating or using a checkbook.
- Impaired judgement: being unaware of health and safety precautions such as not seeking medical help when ill, or wearing inappropriate clothing when it is too hot or too cold.
What is the next step if you have observed some or all these symptoms exhibited by your loved one?
- Get your loved one to his/her physician as soon as possible. Only a qualified healthcare provider, after assessments and tests, can confirm dementia and can determine if the condition is reversible or treatable.
- A qualified therapist can also give pointers on how to effectively communicate and assist a person with dementia to lessen anxiety and confusion.